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Helping Hand For Those Experiencing Hardship In Santa Barbara

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Courtesy of 2nd Story Associates

This past year has brought many challenges to our community, as many families and seniors faced hardships brought on by the pandemic.

A non-profit in the Santa Barbara area is supporting those with critical needs.

Santa Barbara resident Liliana Cortez is a single mom of four, keen to pursue her career dreams in the medical field to support her family.

She is finally about to graduate her high school diploma and follow a path towards her chosen career, thanks to a grant obtained through 2nd Story Associates in Santa Barbara.

2nd Story is the non-profit arm of the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

It was created to support the development of affordable housing and promote social services for the benefit of low-income members of the Santa Barbara Community.

Cortez says she's grateful that she qualified for the grant and could complete her high school diploma.

"I'm doing this for my girls," she told KCLU. "I'm not going to lie, it's been hard with three of my girls on Zoom, me on Zoom and a two-year-old running around."

Resident housing supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara Alice Villarreal Redit says the additional support and resources have been needed this past year more than ever.

"Because of the pandemic, we have focused on the basic necessities of the families we serve," she told KCLU.

She explained that many undocumented families in the area hit hard times because they didn't receive stimulus payments.

Their ambition is to create opportunities for stability and self-sufficiency, and Cortez is a shining example of how that works.

"It's the big opportunity that I needed, that help, to go on in life," says Cortez.

Even the name – 2nd Story – is an acknowledgment of the ambition to create hope for someone’s next chapter.