Staff Report

The Santa Barbara County Veterans Collaborative (SBCVC) formally launched an effort to ask local veteran serving organizations to join their efforts. This collaborative will serve as a forum to foster greater communication, build stronger working relationships among public and private veteran-serving organizations — all with a goal to work towards the development of informed services that uplift and improve the wellness of our Santa Barbara County veterans and families. 

“The Santa Barbara County Veterans Collaborative has been a long time in the making with a county-wide support system to help get us to this point, which was made especially difficult during COVID-19,” said Marcee Davis, SBCVC board president. “I am excited that we can now introduce our collaborative to the greater Santa Barbara community, and I am looking forward to working with service providers, state and local officials, as well as an array of stakeholders across the state to collaborate and support our local and diverse community of veterans on the Central Coast.” 

The genesis of the collaborative began in 2017 with an assessment supported by the Santa Barbara Foundation and conducted by Nancy Berglass. The Santa Barbara Veterans Needs Assessment was produced and serves as a baseline assessing how veterans are doing in our region and identifying opportunities on how to better serve them. An opportunity that rose to the top was, “to facilitate cooperation, collaboration, and communication among and between public, private and nonprofit organizations serving veterans,” which the Santa Barbara Foundation provided further investment through a grant and staff support. After five years, this has culminated in building the infrastructure of the SBCVC as a 501c3 with a collective impact model. 

Organized for collective impact, the collaborative brings organizations together, in a structured way, to leverage their strengths to achieve social change. It serves as a monthly convener of participating cross-sector organizations and gathers many of the same stakeholders in working groups to develop strategies that address issues relevant to local veterans. 

“For over a decade, from the Washington VA to the California Department of Veterans Affairs, numerous studies of collaboratives have substantiated their effectiveness,” said Calvin Angel of CALVET. “Particularly impactful, are those who are broad-based and active in their community. The data supports that the quality of life for the veterans and their family are improved. The Santa Barbara County Veterans Collaborative was created with the knowledge of how effective their organization can be for the North and South County. On behalf of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, congratulations, and have a long and productive history.”

Participating organizations will benefit from the opportunity to learn from the many veteran-serving organizations at the monthly meetings. This will include presentations from various government officials and other veteran-serving organizations, in addition to information sharing among participating organizations. The SBCVC is comprised of multiple working groups. Many of the collaborative’s stakeholders also meet monthly with their respective working group to address issues relevant to Santa Barbara County veterans and their families.

Veteran-serving organizations may request additional information at or