New Beginnings Holding a Free Virtual Event with Best-Selling Author Annabelle Gurwitch and Julie Bowen

By Giving List Staff   |   October 6, 2021

New Beginnings is holding a free virtual event featuring Annabelle Gurwitch and Julie Bowen discussing homelessness solutions on October 7 at 4pm. The event will highlight a unique interview with New York Times best-selling author Annabelle Gurwitch, an activist who provided housing to a young couple experiencing homelessness. The interview is conducted by Annabelle’s friend, Julie Bowen, who stars in the popular Modern Family sitcom. Annabelle’s story about her own journey addressing homelessness brings an enlightened perspective to the issue and will help educate community stakeholders and landlords about how to become part of the solution. To register online for free, please visit For more information about New Beginnings, please visit

New Beginnings is holding this event virtually to improve accessibility and because the messages being imparted to community stakeholders and landlords are intended for a broader, regional and national audience. New Beginnings’ leadership will be discussing the impact of their nation’s leading Safe Parking Program, and attendees will also be able to hear from a Safe Parking client. 

Kristine Schwarz, Executive Director of New Beginnings, said, “New Beginnings is committed to working together as a community to help people to quickly exit homelessness. Annabelle’s story is a shining example of how every individual community member can make a difference.” 

Last week, New Beginnings held their Annual Fundraiser at the Santa Barbara Club, which also featured an interview with Annabelle Gurwitch, led by local journalist Beth Farnsworth. The evening included remarks from partnering landlords and a veteran who is supported in housing through New Beginnings’ services. New Beginnings encourages community members to attend the free, virtual event as well to learn more about rapid rehousing and other solutions for addressing homelessness.

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

Annabelle Gurwitch is the author of five books, a finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor Writing, and was the longtime co-host of Dinner & a Movie on TBS. Her writing appears in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, WSJ, and The New Yorker, amongst other outlets. Annabelle’s also been featured on The Today Show, GMA, Real Time, CBS This Morning, and Oprah, amongst others. Her op-ed in the Los Angeles Times about her experience as a landlord, included in her latest book, You’re Leaving When?, was recognized with a Los Angeles Press Club Excellence in Journalism Award in 2020. Annabelle also co-hosts the weekly Tiny Victories podcast.


New Beginnings

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Matching Challenge

Through January 31st, donors are invited to match the generous $25,000 matching gift from Sandy Schoolfield and Jon Kechejian for the relocation and expansion of our south county office towards our need to raise $250,000 for this effort.


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

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My husband, Jon, and I believe that New Beginnings provides many vital services to the homeless and underserved mentally ill in our community through a host of successful and nationally recognized programs. They could do an even better and more efficient job if they could consolidate their outdated office space that is currently spread out in several locations into one location better designed to support their programs. Jon and I are glad to support this important initiative to help New Beginnings relocate into much needed new office space.”
Sandy Schoolfield and Jon Kechejian

One Roof

In 2023, New Beginnings plans to centralize its main office and bring three locations under one roof in Santa Barbara. To do that, the nonprofit will need a commercial landlord willing to rent to an agency that works with veterans, the homeless, and people struggling with mental illness, and financial assistance from generous donors totaling $250,000. 

Donations are also always needed to cover things government assistance won’t, like appliances, beds, medical assistive devices, renter’s application fees, renter’s insurance, and more. New Beginnings Executive Director Kristine Schwarz’s other major ask is an appeal to landlords and property managers to help serve the unhoused by making units available for them to rent and live in.

“We need landlords and property managers to work with us,” Schwarz says, noting that they have dozens of people housed all over the county who they provide supportive housing retention services for on a daily basis.

New Beginnings reaches out to provide services to members of our community who most need a hand. One of their innovative programs is Safe Parking. My late husband Gary encouraged New Beginnings to write a manual that outlined the details of the program with the intent of sharing it with other cities. That manual and Safe Parking has now gone far beyond Santa Barbara, and is helping hundreds of people. I am pleased to support New Beginnings and all its good works.
Mary Becker

Key Supporters

Jacqueline Kurta
Dan Engel
Vice President
Ziad Elkurjie
Mark Cardona
Steve Baird
Stasia Huiner
Kathryn Keene
Karen Kelly
Diane Pannkuk
Warren B. Ritter II