Empowering Sustainable Independence
In partnership with the community, we provide education and supportive services to residents of Santa Barbara County resulting in improved economic security and self-sufficiency.
Who We Are
For over 12,000 members of our community, CommUnify represents the difference in living between uncertainty and stability. CommUnify is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the community to find innovative and sustainable solutions for Santa Barbara County residents to improve and maintain their health, resilience and financial security.
CommUnify is one of the few organizations in Santa Barbara County with a true north and south county footprint and a true north and south county commitment. CommUnify provides opportunities to those geographic parts of the county that are so often overlooked and yet have the greatest needs.
CommUnify is built on four key pillars:
- Community – We are good for the whole community, not just the people we serve.
- Stability – CommUnify provides the stability our consumers need to raise themselves up.
- Service – We ensure those we serve get what they need to be successful.
- Education – Educating people toward better life pathways.
We at CommUnify are committed to helping our Santa Barbara County residents understand what we do, how to talk to us and how to access our services. We are a committed partner to the many nonprofits working to alleviate poverty in our county, and we are committed to taking a leadership position in surrounding our clients with the stability they need to build stronger lives and become healthy, educated, working, self-sufficient members of our community. In this way, CommUnify is committed to making the Santa Barbara County community better for everyone.
History and Overview
CommUnify (formerly the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County) was formed in 1964 as a 15-member Community Action Committee appointed by the County Board of Supervisors to address the causes and conditions of poverty. In May 1967, CommUnify was incorporated as a private nonprofit organization providing Head Start early education services, followed by a senior support program in October of the same year. In 1969, an adult job-training program was added to our menu of services. CommUnify has gradually expanded to include a wide array of programs focused on addressing the causes and conditions of poverty.
CommUnify is now one of the largest nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara County, employing nearly 400 staff and operating over 20 programs and services in the community, including Head Start/Early Start programs, the Senior Healthy Lunch program, energy assistance, home weatherization services, financial literacy and family self-sufficiency supportive services, a variety of prevention and intervention services for youth, and 2-1-1 information and referral helpline. CommUnify prides itself on its sound fiscal practices and strong financial status as a growing nonprofit organization. The organization’s foundation is the tripartite Board structure, made up of one-third low-income (or representatives); one-third elected officials (or representatives); and one-third private or business representatives.