I’m not getting any younger, so it has become my intention to equip the next generation to continue the work of living amongst those who live on the edge of society. Over the past several years SBACT has developed a strong relationship with Westmont College, and in 2017 I have given more attention to both students, faculty, and administrative leadership in order to help them to strengthen their relational ties with the city of Santa Barbara.
The picture is of this year's Spring Break in Santa Barbara team – I spent a full day with them inviting them into relationship with our friends on the streets population. This included meeting Mayor Helene Schneider and advocating for those experiencing homelessness at the Santa Barbara City Council.
The spring break in the city program is something SBACT created and has continued to sustain year to year, but I am asking for more from Westmont. In my mind there are 1,200 students in Montecito who can have a dramatic impact on bringing holistic wellness to Santa Barbara. The truth is that the majority of SBACT's interns and staff have come from Westmont. I believe there is something unique we can do at Westmont and it includes loving those who live down the mountain from Westmont’s campus.
There are a few opportunities coming up I’m very excited about. I am assisting the Provost’s office faculty day in the city in May. I will be an ambassador for faculty members, introducing them to the “vulnerable unsheltered population.” This population includes those experiencing homelessness, street youth, and survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I am hoping this event draws more faculty into a relationship with the city and ultimately more students as well.
I am also in discussions with the President of Westmont and the Westmont Downtown Program about ways to serve the college and students in greater ways – which may include more sustainable contracted relationships. So thank you for your support.