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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — The County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness is the recipient of a generous $50,000 donation from the Gordon Family Trust to purchase a mobile health van that promotes the family’s goal of “improving the lives of those in the community.” The van is serving clients in the Homeless Services and Assertive Outreach Team programs. 

The Gordon family decided years ago to donate family trust funds to the Department of Behavioral Wellness in recognition of their appreciation for services provided to a family member who was a long-time client, and to pay it forward to help others in the community. 

“This incredible gift was such a surprise and we are so appreciative to receive this recognition from the family,” said Celeste Andersen, Behavioral Wellness Chief of Compliance, who coordinated receipt of the gift with Tracy Jackson, Executor of the Gordon Family Trust.

Jackson stated, “My grandfather was very involved in my uncle’s care. He set aside money that he wanted to go to people in the community who didn’t have easy access to mental health services due to mobility issues, or who didn’t want to leave their belongings on the street to visit a traditional clinic.”  

The van is retrofit as a fully operational mobile health clinic on the inside, but the exterior detailing ought to bring smiles and encouragement to those who pass by. The exterior detailing includes a vibrant Santa Barbara landscape and the words, “Be Well.”  

The mobile health van enables more resources to reach the community in a safe, secure and private environment. It also affords the medical staff with a confidential space for medication support and conducting medical assessments.  

“Our homeless services staff are using the van in various outreach efforts,” said Jon Masuda, Homeless Services Supervisor. “Clients can access phones inside the van to follow up with mental health providers, and we use the van to transport people who are homeless from encampments to shelters or living arrangements.”

Bernard Hicks, Assertive Outreach Team Lead, explained that he gets a lot of attention when he drives the van. “The van is so nice that people tell me they want to live in it. People approach the van just to see inside and get an idea of what we do. It’s incredible to have a van like this for the program.” 

Jackson couldn’t agree more, stating, “This is the kind of thing our family wanted to do for the community; the van is wonderful.”

To learn more about County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness, please visit For assistance accessing Behavioral Wellness services, call the 24/7 toll free Crisis Response and Services Access Line at (888) 868-1649.


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