Transition House

By on Oct 18, 2017 in Giving, People

There is something special about nonprofit galas: the glitz, the big names, and the buzz of fellowship in the air. But how special would it feel if the gala didn’t exist at all? What if all of a nonprofit’s funds were directed to the people who need it most? Transition House explores the no-ball fundraiser concept with Help-a-Kid No-Ball.

Transition House in Santa Barbara provides housing and services for families facing housing insecurity.

Heather Stevenson, Grants Manager at Transition House, has seen hardworking families lose everything. “In Santa Barbara, the cost of living is so high that people without a safety net or family support can lose everything when an unexpected crisis occurs,” she said.  “A job loss or a medical emergency might be all that stands between a family that is already poor and homelessness.”

She recalls a family that arrived to transition house several years ago. The father, a roofer, was unable to earn pay during one rainy winter month. Though he had part of his rent payment for the next month, he lacked $430.

The family lost their apartment as well as all of their possessions.

Photo: copyright © Isaac Hernandez Herrero 2016

Photo: copyright © Isaac Hernandez Herrero 2016

Transition House was there to help. The non-profit offers emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, as well as homelessness prevention services to promote long term stability.

Each family obtains the essentials such as three meals each day, clothing and reliable shelter. Case managers and a career development specialist work together with heads of household to improve money management skills, education, and employment preparation.

Since the organization exclusively serves families with children, about 60 percent of its residents are under the age of 18.

When children enter Transition House, they are able to participate in uplifting programs and interventions that may provide the care and stability needed to overcome the odds. Kids receive transportation to school, tutoring, and enrichment programs that allow kids to be kids. Field trips, birthday parties and other seasonal events are part of life at Transition House.

“Our children’s program staff work hard to keep life as normal as possible for youth living in our shelter,” said Stevenson. “That is no small task considering children can’t have friends over to visit, must share their sleeping quarters with their entire family, and need to follow the daily routine we keep at the shelter.”

Generous members of the Santa Barbara community contribute more than 70 percent of the operating costs for Transition House. To raise funds for this life-changing program, Transition House hosts an annual Help-a-Kid No-Ball. The organization sells tickets to an event that never happens.

Stevenson explained, “We used to throw a gala event every year to raise money but the cost was so high and it seemed like many of our donors paintingattended to offer support but would have preferred to stay home!”

Transition house nixed the parties and got right to the heart of the gala—fundraising to change people’s lives. It has been a success.

“Our No-Ball slogan is ‘We’re dressing up so you don’t have to!’” Stevenson said. “We send out an invitation with a different theme each year and we get children who have been residents at our shelter to ‘dress up’ in costume.”

She continues, “This year’s theme is artists in Paris. Our supporters love it and the families from the shelter that participate each year are glad to be able to give back.”

Participants can entered a raffle that is supported by the donations of local businesses and organizations. A few raffle prizes include free dinner for a year at Santa Barbara eateries, a private Trolley of Lights tour for the holidays, and four bottles of wine every month for a year.

In addition to No-Ball ticket sales, the support of businesses such as Yardi helps the Transition Housing serve the public. Yardi has been a proud sponsor of Transition House since 1997.

“Yardi’s funding supports our emergency shelter for families with children. Each year, we serve approximately 3,075 family members or about 115 families,” said Stevenson.

Yardi is Energized for good. Join us and learn how you can support Transition House.