Make the Invisible, Visible

Historically, communities have always come together in response to a crisis. The fires and the mudslides that affected so many people in our county are great examples of how people pull together to help each other.

People give selflessly when they know there’s a need, but what happens when a crisis remains invisible to the majority of the public?  How can the community respond when they don’t know that a problem has been quietly brewing? In 2015, CBS Evening News captured, what they called, at that time, an emerging problem.  Click here to watch the video.

That scenario is playing out throughout our community. There are thousands of older seniors aging in place right here in Santa Barbara County and many have lost the ability to access basic needs, such as the need for food, medical care, and human connection. Why? Because illness has taken away their ability to drive. They can’t access the bus and can’t get a ride. It’s not an emerging problem, it’s a crisis.

Our nations older population is growing at an unprecedented rate. Santa Barbara County is experiencing a growth greater than the national average and, countywide, “22,880 persons, or 31 percent of the population age 60 and over, have been identified as having a disability.” Many of our elders are going without support and, unfortunately, government systems cannot meet existing demand. What can we do? We can come together as a community and work through this. As the only agency of its kind, we need the community to help us make this “invisible” crisis, visible. Join our effort – as volunteers, advocates, or donors. Our older seniors need you. To become an advocate, contact our Executive Director, Vilma Contreras at 805-925-0125. To become a volunteer driver, contact Kaley or Letty at 805-925-8000. To donate, please click here.