Credit: O'Dea/Wikimedia Commons

According to county statistics, more than 1,900 people are estimated to be experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara County. Each winter, those on the streets are exposed to cold nighttime temperatures without much more than the clothing on their backs to warm them.

To help individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara, the county is hosting the Fourth Annual Sleeping Bag Drive, where locals can donate sleeping bags, hygiene products, warm clothing, and more toward those in need.

Donations can be made in person at two locations: the Santa Maria Public Defender’s Office in Santa Maria, and the Santa Barbara Public Defender’s Office, located under the main archway of the Santa Barbara Courthouse directly across from the clocktower entrance.

The offices will accept donations weekdays during regular business hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., until Monday, December 12. Either “new or lightly used” sleeping bags, hats, gloves, jackets, clothing, socks, shoes, hygiene products, thermal underwear, scarves, and backpacks will be accepted, along with tax-deductible financial donations toward the purchase of new sleeping bags and undergarments. 

Financial donations can be made online through the Family Service Agency.

Individuals in need of sleeping bags or warm clothing can collect the donated goods at a distribution event noon-2 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, at both offices until supplies run out. For more information, contact the County Public Defender’s office or visit

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