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The Salvation Army Hospitality House (“The Sally”) at 423 Chapala St is co-hosting a Spring neighborhood clean-up in partnership with West Downtown residents. “We want to be a great neighbor, and help our community,” says Executive Director Mark Gisler. “Some of our neighbors know we’re here, and we enjoy meeting more of them, and sharing our work. We feel it’s important to be a continually positive presence in the neighborhood, to be of benefit to the community.”

Residents Christina Pizarro and Sharon Byrne started doing the clean-ups over a decade ago, in conjunction with Lorraine Cruz-Carpinter of the City of Santa Barbara’s Environmental Services Division. Environmental Services provides the equipment the team needs, like brooms, litter pick-up sticks, and safety vests.

“It’s really increased the safety of the neighborhood, and created a sense that it’s loved and cared for,” said Pizarro. She’s a sponsor of the event, as are resident Sharon Byrne, Angela Krablin of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and Irwin Rainak of the International Autohaus. Krablin, the Advisory Board Chair, has participated in clean-ups in years past. “It has been so great to work with residents of the Hospitality House, local neighbors, and Board volunteers to clean up the neighborhood. We have picked up trash, weeded, and planted during past clean-up events. It’s very rewarding to see the wonderful end result!”

Marborg is donating a roll off dumpster to gather all the trash. It’s a huge help to a grassroots and low-budget neighborhood effort. “We’ve done this clean-up for a decade, in the Spring. It always feels good to see the neighbors put their hands on our community, and feel a sense of pride in our little area,” said resident Sharon Byrne. About 6 years ago, the neighborhood clean-up was organized around the mural that decorates the AutoHaus, that ended years of graffiti there. “Over time, you can see how the neighbors have really made a difference,” says Byrne.

The area of cleaning will be between Cota and Gutierrez St, Bath and Chapala. The neighbors and residents of the Salvation Army Hospitality House will be weeding, picking up trash, removing graffiti, sweeping sidewalks, and cutting brush back.

Residents like Martha Ruiz and Raquel Zaragoza always participate. Ruiz is organizing her fellow residents of El Zoco lofts to participate. “My kids have grown up doing this every year,” says Zaragosa. “It gave them a sense of pride in our neighborhood.”

Councilmember Oscar Gutierrez will also be on hand, and the team hopes to get him to help a little with weeding and planting, though they haven’t told him that yet.

A lunch for volunteers will be served at noon at the Sally. Santa Barbara Wood Fired Catering will provide pizzas from their mobile brick oven, and salad. Residents are bringing other sides and drinks.

“It should be a great day and a win for the neighborhood!” says Byrne.


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