COVID-19 Response

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United Way is working diligently with our community partners to assist those most impacted by COVID-19 through a variety of response and relief efforts outlined below. 




(updated October 14, 2020)

covid infographic

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Joint Response Effort for Santa Barbara County

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.


Rental Assistance

In partnership with the County of Santa Barbara and the City of Santa Barbara, United Way is offering rental assistance grants to eligible individuals and families. Eligible applicants must meet specific requirements. The funds were made possible by the County of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City Council through federal grants received from the CARES Act. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.


Learning & Enrichment Centers Collaborative 

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. This collaborative has raised $570,000 and has created 342 spots for students. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.


Emergency Child Care Initiative

United Way of Santa Barbara County is working 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 needed child care 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. To learn more, please CLICK HERE


Public Health Critical Needs Initiative

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 and contact tracing capacity. To date, this fund has raised $375,000. To learn more, please CLICK HERE.


School Supplies and Book Distribution

In May and June 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 1,375 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