Shelter & Safety Grant Program

2019 Grant Guidelines

In 2017, Santa Barbara County reported 1,489 homeless people out of 444,000 residents, or 0.3 % of the population. Nationally, the statistics state that 564,708 out of 323.1 million residents, or 0.2 % of the population are homeless. It is estimated that 14% of all students in Santa Barbara County were homeless in 2018. While the nation saw a 2% decline in homelessness, Santa Barbara County saw an increase of 2% between 2015 and 2017.

If homelessness was not enough of a challenge for any individual, youth who are homeless face even greater threats to their safety and well-being. Nearly a fifth of homeless youth in the United States and Canada are victims of human trafficking. Some of the most vulnerable populations for human trafficking in the United States include American Indian/Alaska Native communities, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-questioning individuals, individuals with disabilities, undocumented migrants, runaway and homeless youth, temporary guest-workers, and low-income individuals.

In order to more adequately address the different approaches required by critical areas of human need, the Santa Barbara Foundation has established four separate program areas of funding; health care, behavioral health, food, and shelter & safety. The timeline for the grant cycle related to shelter & safety will take place from mid-July through December. Applicants must select the program area that most closely represents the mission of their organization. Organizations are not eligible to apply to more than one program area.



Shelter & Safety Grants will be available to nonprofit organizations directly providing programs addressing shelter & safety. Funding can be used for operating expenses and/or costs related to sustaining or expanding service delivery programs to meet demonstrated demand.

In summary, funded organizations will:

  • Be providing direct services to address shelter & safety
  • Be well-managed, financially viable, and operate effective programs that primarily serve the needs of vulnerable populations
  • Have developed short-term and long-term strategies for addressing identified organizational needs



Priority will be given to organizations that:

  • Demonstrate sustained and/or increased demand for shelter & safety services
  • Are taking steps to sustain or expand organizational capacity to address demand for services
  • Provide holistic approaches to serving clients, undertaken by the agency itself or in partnership with others
  • Demonstrate cultural competence among volunteers, staff, and board members for the communities served
  • Are addressing barriers that prevent access to services
  • Are developing strategies to address the root causes of shelter & safety needs
  • Are prioritizing the following vulnerable and underserved populations:
    • Families with children
    • Aging & older adults
    • Individuals living in cars
    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Individuals fleeing domestic violence/sex trafficking
    • Transitional-age youth


Funding Amounts and Duration

The maximum award for Shelter and Safety grants is $50,000. The grant review panel may reduce or increase award amounts at its discretion. The grant period is up to one year from the award date. In lieu of a final report for this work, we plan to host a convening in 2020 with other recipients to learn and share your work. If your organization received a Core Support for Basic Needs Grant in 2018, the corresponding final report is independent of this grant application.


Grant Limitations

Shelter & Safety Grants are not intended for:

  • Organizations that are not directly providing services to address shelter & safety
  • Solely behavioral health, food, or health care-related projects or programs
  • Clothing or transportation
  • Individuals

Please visit the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for a complete list of what the Foundation does not fund.



Eligibility Requirements

  • Grants are available to organizations serving all regions of Santa Barbara County.
  • Organizations must be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered. Organizations using a fiscal sponsor must review the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for additional information and instructions.



ONLINE Application Process

Santa Barbara Foundation utilizes an online application. Please follow the instructions below to access, complete and submit your application to the foundation.

  • To apply, go to If you do not already have a log-in for this platform, please proceed to the next steps.
  • On the Welcome to the Santa Barbara Foundation Grants Portal page, click on “Register” and complete the form to create an account for the Grants Portal. You will be asked to furnish an email address, create a password and state the name of your organization. We advise using a perpetual email address (such as or so that the organization’s profile is not exclusively linked to one individual’s email address.
  • IMPORTANT – You will receive an email confirming that your account is active and you will then be able to complete and submit a grant application. Please take this timing into consideration when reviewing application deadlines as you must allow time for your account to be created prior to submitting an application before the deadline. (If you are establishing an account on Friday, the registration confirmation will occur on the following Monday.)
  • Once your account has been confirmed, you may log in and complete the grant application.
  • Save your work often and log out at any time.
  • To access the partially completed application again, you will need to log into the account you created to access the grant application.



Important Dates

 August 15, 2019 Application Deadline
December 2019 Funds Awarded
December  16, 2020 Final Report Deadline



Contact Information

For questions regarding the Food program area and funding eligibility, please contact Pedro Paz, Director of Grantmaking, (805) 963-1873 or

For technical assistance, please contact Deanna Vallejo, Community Engagement Associate, (805) 963-1873 or