New Beginnings Hires Sara Grasso as Homeless Services Director

By Giving List Staff   |   July 2, 2021

New Beginnings is pleased to announce the addition of Sara Grasso, MFT as the agency’s first Homeless Services Director. The position was made possible with the support of the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, who recently provided New Beginnings with a grant of $75,000 to expand the Safe Parking Program. In addition to directing the Safe Parking Program, Grasso will also oversee the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, as well as New Beginnings’ supportive services contract at Johnson Court. 

Grasso is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in working with people experiencing homelessness, as well as adults who present with severe and persistent mental illness. Prior to joining New Beginnings, Grasso was the Manager of Integrated Behavioral Health at the Stout Street Health Clinic at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. In addition, Grasso served in various positions of increasing responsibility at the County of Santa Barbara for six years, including as the Homeless Services and Assertive Community Treatment Manager for the County Department of Behavioral Wellness, where she oversaw multiple specialty programs tailored for vulnerable populations. Earlier in her career, Grasso worked in clinical and program management positions with local community partners, such as the Salvation Army Hospitality House, the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA), Phoenix of Santa Barbara, and Family Service Agency.

Kristine Schwarz, MA, MFT, LPCC, Executive Director of New Beginnings said, “I have long enjoyed working in partnership with Sara throughout the years and was thrilled to have the opportunity for her to become a direct member of our team. She is perfect for the job and will serve our clients well.”

Sara Grasso, MFT, Homeless Services Director, said “I am beyond grateful for this opportunity! I have observed first-hand that the team at New Beginnings does whatever it takes to engage and serve our most vulnerable community members. I admire my colleagues for their approach to delivering services and am inspired by the mission of the organization. I look forward to being a part of the team and to working with our clients.”

New Beginnings provides quality, affordable counseling, shelter, case management and education that strengthens our community and provides their clients with the ability to lead healthy and productive lives. New Beginnings, located at 324 East Carrillo Street, Suite C, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please contact our development department at (805) 963-7777 x112 or email at


New Beginnings

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(805) 963-7777 ext. 144
Executive Director: Kristine Schwarz


We provide mental health counseling to low-income community members and end homelessness for individuals, families, and veterans throughout Santa Barbara County. Through four core programs, we serve approximately 2,000 people each year.

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New Beginnings is a shiny gem among nonprofits in our community. Their cost effective counseling programs have stood the test of time for more than fifty years. The Safe Parking Program for the homeless was the first of its kind and now widely replicated elsewhere. More recently, they are closing in on the elimination of veteran homelessness, a long elusive goal. No matter the program, they are remarkably effective in helping its many low-income and needy clients lead healthy and productive lives.
Glenn Bacheller, Advocate

Your Donations Help Veterans Stay Safe and Housed

New Beginnings is grateful for the grants and community donations to open its new, more efficient collaborative center last summer. But as the agency expands its services and takes on more staff, funding is still needed to support the growth of its work for all of its far ranging and desperately needed programs, including administrative and management staffing, equipment, training – all of which isn’t covered by government grants.

Key Supporters

Jacqueline Kurta,
MFT, Psy.D, President
Dan Engel, Vice President
Mark Cardona, J.D., Secretary
Ziad Elkurjie, Treasurer
Steve Baird, Member
Suzanne Grimmesey, MFT,
Stasia Huiner, M.B.A. Member
Kathryn Keene, Member
Karen Kelly, Member
Diane Pannkuk, M.B.A., Member
Warren B. Ritter II, Member
Scott Sanford, Member