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December 2021 Resident Services Newsletter

To view, download, or print the December 2021 Newsletter (which includes all content as listed below), click here.  

December 2021 Resident Services Newsletter. All information as listed below or click here for a printable version.

December 01, 2021
Volume 11, Issue 4

HASBARCO Resident Services Center
For more information; call your local Housing Authority office to speak with a Resident Services Team Member.

Resident Services Center
235 E. Inger Drive, Suite 102-A
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Phone: 805-925-4393
Ext: 3308/3310/3311

ROSS Resident Services Center
204 W. Williams Street
Santa Maria, CA 93458

South County Services
Phone: 805-968-2141
Visit us at:
Spanish is spoken.

Points of Interest

  • Featured Partner: "My Home" A Ministry of Crestwood Christian Church
  • HASBARCO: "Resident Services Center" "S8 Family Self-Sufficiency Program"
  • HASBARCO: "Housing Authority Affordable and Public Housing Operational Update"
  • Foodbank of SBC: "Healthy Recipe"
  • Federal Trade Commission: "Your Holiday Shopping Guide"
  • Resume In Spanish: "Summary"

My Home. An image of a house with sky behind it.

"My Home" ~ An Outreach Ministry

My Home is an outreach ministry of Crestwood Christian Church created in March 2018 to provide household furnishings to families and individuals returning to housing out of homelessness. Over the past 12 years, Crestwood has come to the aid of thousands of people striving to change their lives thru partner agencies and thru the church. Realizing these families were being housed but had nothing to put in those spaces, our goal was to help them turn a dwelling into a home they love.

Through the assistance of our wonderful partner agencies, their staff do the hard work of assessing, evaluating, and coordinating the needs of the individuals and families in their care. When we are called into action, My Home's showroom (it's really a storage unit but showroom sounds so much better!) displays a full range of donated gently used and new furniture and new household goods like dishes, toasters, towels, rugs, bedding and more.

ALL FOR FREE! Simply fill out the My Home Request Form checking off all the items needed and email Dorthy. We check inventory, meet with you and your client, they choose what works for their new home, and we all make smiles happen! How can you help us? Crestwood depends on the generosity of the community and local businesses for gently used and new household goods and financial support. Get the word out to businesses and the community that together we do change lives. Contact Dorothy at 805-451-6406 for more information. 

Storage unit displaying a full range of donated goods.

HASBARCO Resident Services Center

If you are receiving housing assistance through the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, you are considered a Resident. It doesn’t matter whether you are living in a Housing Authority owned or a managed unit or living in a Section 8 assisted unit through a private Landlord, you are considered a Resident. Being a Resident means you are eligible to participate in “supportive services” that are available in local Housing Authority Community Rooms countywide. There are a lot of services available to you; including free food distributions, educational classes, recreational opportunities, resident meetings, child services, health services, senior services and many more. Services that are not available within a local community room in your area, maybe available nearby through a partnering service provider and most of these services are available at no cost to you.

The Housing Authority Resident Services Department is completely devoted to serving Housing Authority Residents. If you are engaged in any of the above services, chances are you’ve met with a member of the Resident Services Team. Besides providing services, or coordinating services through partners, the team also operates “Self-Sufficiency Programs”. These are programs specifically designed to help you set and achieve your life goals. To learn more about the services or programs that are available to you visit: Resident Resources page, or email Resident Services.

Let’s see what we can accomplish in the New Year by working together~

Happy New Year from Resident Services!!

Section 8 (FSS) Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) is an optional motivational savings program that provides case management and advocacy to Section 8 families to help them ease off of government assistance & transition into a socially, and economically independent life style.

FSS participants enroll and sign a five-year Contract of Participation and set a commitment to finish their education, attend school / training programs & become "employed and economically independent within five years."

Financial Incentive - "The Escrow Account"
When the family reports an increase in earned income, a portion of that increase is matched by the Housing Authority, and the money accumulates into a special savings account called an "escrow account". When the Participant completes the goals and requirements included in the Contract of Participation, they will receive the balance in the escrow account to use as they desire.

*There is no risk for trying ~ No Penalty ~ You don't lose your Section 8*
However the participant must complete the FSS program & comply with Housing Authority rules and regulations in order to receive the escrow account. Whatever your definition of Self-Sufficiency, the FSS program is here to help you succeed.

What does Self-Sufficiency mean to you?

You Are the Right Candidate

  • If you have the desire to be free of welfare & government subsides;
  • If you are committed to reaching your goals;
  • If you are determined to overcome obstacles on your path;
  • If you are willing to learn and commit toward your education and training;
  • If you are willing to work to increase your earned income;

~Then the FSS Program may be right for you and can help you climb the ladder of success!

For more information, please contact: 
FSS Coordinator, Teresa Alvarez at Resident Services Department
805-925-4393 Ext: 3311

Housing Authority Affordable & Public Housing
An Update from Sanford Riggs, Director of Operations

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the world in many ways and the operations of all Housing Authorities have changed as well. The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara is no exception. The onset of Covid-19 in March of 2020 forced a rapid change from many in-person visits to the use of electronics to interact with residents. Offices were completely closed to the public and inspections were halted.

The ability to conduct on-line recertifications and electronic document signing was increased, and this is constantly improving and is expected to expand in 2022. The Housing Authority hired a 24 hour answering service to answer telephone calls. Also, our WEBSITE was completely redesigned. It is a “new look”, and allows many resident functions to be conducted conveniently, via the Website, including putting in a maintenance work order online, rather than calling the work order number.

Please check out our new website at Inspections have resumed and repairs of deficiencies discovered are being done. In person appointments, in the office have resumed on an “as needed” basis, although many functions can be accomplished conveniently via electronic means.

The Pandemic has been a trying time for everyone. The Housing Management team appreciates the cooperation and patience of our residents, our customers, during this time of challenge and change.

Best wishes for a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season.

HappyHolidays written on a ribbon.

FTC ~ “Your Holiday Shopping Guide”

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you might have heard about a global chip shortage. Why does that matter to your holiday shopping? Well, a lot of things you might buy for the holidays, like toys, have chips in them, so the shortage means prices are going up, and items that have chips can be harder to find.

Scammers follow the headlines — and just like with the mask shortage, scammers will set up shop, “sell” what everyone is trying to buy — but not deliver. Here are some tips to avoid scams as you get ready for holiday shopping this season.

  • Research sellers before you buy: 

    • Search online for the name of the seller and product, plus words like “complaint” and “scam.” And read reviews about the seller and their products, too.

  • Feed your inner skeptic:

    • This year’s “it” game? For a great price in mid-December? From a seller you’ve never heard of? See bullet #1.

  • Compare products:

    • Even with the chip shortage, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Comparison shop online, looking at prices, delivery dates, and even discounts or coupon codes.

  • Pay by credit card:

    • Paying by credit card gives you more rights to dispute the charge if something goes wrong. And if someone tells you to pay by wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or by mailing cash, stop and find another seller. That’s how scammers tell you to pay.

  • Keep records:

    • Save copies of your receipts and order confirmations from online orders. Hold onto them until you get what you ordered and know you won’t return things.

Spot a scam while holiday shopping? The FTC want’s to hear about it. Click here to report it to the FTC.

Federal Trade Commission. Research sellers before you buy that perfect holiday gift. Search online. Seller/product name +

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Don’t let the sweet nature of a sweet potato fool you. One medium sweet potato has over four times the recommended intake of vitamin A! It is also rich in vitamin C and Iron. So try incorporating sweet potatoes in your holiday dishes like in potato salads, baked sweet potato fries, sweet potato ravioli stuffing, or even mashed sweet potatoes.


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 of salt
  • 2 tsp of butter or margarine
  • Toppings of your choice

Serves: 2
Time: 1 hour


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes & dry them. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Using a fork, poke holes in the potatoes. Drizzle the olive oil over the sweet potatoes & rub it in. Then sprinkle the salt on them. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes. Then allow them to cool for five minutes. Put one teaspoon of butter or margarine on each sweet potato & add your favorite toppings.

*You can serve baked sweet potatoes with sweet toppings like honey and brown sugar or savory toppings like chives and sour cream* ENJOY!

A fork and spoon sit on a wooden cutting board next to a baked sweet potato that is covered in toppings.