United Way's Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program is now closed and is no longer accepting appeals. For questions about your award or application please contact   

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United Way is working with our community partners to assist those most impacted by COVID-19. 

Click here to read our latest updates and news.  





through the Joint Response Effort for Santa Barbara County to respond to community needs


in CARES Act, CDBG, & Treasury funds to provide rental assistance grants and other services


from the $5.6M raised to provide Individual Assistance Grants for local households


have received individual, rental, relocation, and utilities assistance from United Way of Santa Barbara County


have received a total of $3.2M in support grants from the Joint Response Effort


used United Way literacy tools in 2020 to improve reading skills in a virtual environment


for Learning & Enrichment Centers serving 600+ local students

$715,000 RAISED 

for Critical Needs Fund to support contact tracing, isolation capacity, & Vaccination Equity Project

$685,000 RAISED

for emergency childcare services for up to 278 children of essential workers


2020 Crisis Response Report


United Way of Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara Foundation, and Hutton Parker Foundation are leading a countywide collaborative with members of the Foundation Roundtable to provide relief funds for individuals and families, as well as the organizations assisting them. United Way is working with Family Service Agency to conduct remote interviews with all applicants to verify needs and provide case management. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.

The County of Santa Barbara is providing rental assistance grants, through United Way, to eligible individuals and families. Eligible applicants must meet specific requirements. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.

To support local schools and students with remote instruction and distance learning, United Way of Santa Barbara County and its community partners have created the Learning & Enrichment Centers Collaborative, a ​childcare and learning/enrichment model to provide support for our most vulnerable local children and families. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.

United Way of Santa Barbara County established a Critical Needs Fund (CNF) in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Health Department (PHD) and the James S. Bower Foundation to quickly deploy resources to help leaders from the Public Health Department and others reduce the rate of viral transmission and assist with the process of safe reopening. Specifically, the CNF focuses on isolation capacity, contact tracing capacity, and the Vaccination Equity Project. To date, this fund has raised $659,000. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.

United Way of Santa Barbara County worked in partnership with Jane and Paul Orfalea/the Audacious Foundation and the Natalie Orfalea Foundation, with Lou Buglioli through the Emergency Child Care Initiative to provide childcare for essential Santa Barbara County employees. Child care services were available for up to 278 children. This initiative raised $685,000 to support child care services. 

Throughout Summer 2020, United Way led a school supplies drive and book distribution project with a variety of community partners to support students in their home learning environment. In total, we provided books, school supplies, and Home Play Learning Kits to 1,600+ students throughout the county. Our partners included Santa Barbara Public Library, Family Service Agencies, Family Resource Network, Police Activities League, Girls Inc. of Santa Barbara County, Isla Vista Youth Projects, and First 5's Headstart program.


Our neighbors most impacted by COVID-19 need the support and help of caring community members like you. 

  • To donate online, CLICK HERE or the donate button above. 
  • To donate by phone, call 805-965-8591. 
  • To donate by mail, send check to United Way, 320 E Gutierrez St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; memo line: COVID-19 Response