The Harding Community Resource Center building will expand the successful collaborations at HUPS by providing more physical space for services and community groups, supporting current HUPS families as well as residents of the Santa Barbara Westside community who do not have an enrolled student. After public presentations to the Santa Barbara School Board and the Santa Barbara City Council, the Center has received unanimous approval from local leadership.
Schools at the Center of Healthy Communities
The Center is a collaborative effort —led by UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School of Education —that takes a holistic approach to supporting the Westside community. Informed by the groundbreaking work of researchers including Nicholas Hobbs and Geoffrey Canada (Harlem Children’s Zone), this approach will provide a physical space to bolster social supports and will establish opportunities for additional partners to enrich the lives of all neighborhood residents. We envision the Center as a one-stop community resource for legal aid, language lessons, child care, healthcare, after-school programs, prenatal classes, fine arts education, computer tutoring, bicycling groups, senior yoga, etc.
UCSB and the Gevirtz School have partnered with the Santa Barbara Unified School District at Harding for over a decade. The Harding University Partnership has enhanced the learning and development of students at Harding and their families, through educational, social, and psychological interventions. At the same time, students and researchers from UCSB have learned from the students, parents, teachers, and administrators at Harding. The Center is a natural extension to this partnership, and will increase community engagement with the Harding campus. UCSB has resources and experts to coordinate and document the implementation of evidence-based practices. Through our collaboration, we hope to document our processes, successes, and challenges in order to create a blueprint for school-centered, more equitable communities.
Identifying Community Needs
As we prepare for this ambitious initiative, we have been doing our homework with a network of experts. GGSE faculty worked closely with Cottage Health and Santa Barbara County Public Health on the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), expanding the survey to take an in-depth look at the westside community. Using data gathered through surveys and interviews, we were able to identify areas of concern and opportunities for growth on the westside by comparing the data to Santa Barbara County as a whole. The Community Resource Center has been designed with this data in mind.
UCSB will be partnering with SBUSD to fundraise for construction. The building will replace an outdated, seismically-unsound structure on the site. Architectural renderings have been completed. We have the full support of School Board and Santa Barbara City Council, and the enthusiastic anticipation of our community partners.
To learn more about this initiative and how you can get involved, please contact Chryss Yost, HUPS Community Resource Center Coordinator.