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The Santa Barbara County Veterans Collaborative, a California nonprofit corporation, in formation, was organized to encourage greater collaboration of public and private veteran-serving organizations as they work to improve services and other support available to veterans throughout Santa Barbara County. It serves as a forum for organizations to share what they learn with others, identify duplication and gaps in services and build collaborative relationships as they work toward the development of informed services and systems that improve veterans’ lives.
The Santa Barbara County Veterans Collaborative seeks to bring together public, private, and non-profit entities across the County to foster cooperation and promote a unified commitment to serving those who have served and their families.
In 2017, the Santa Barbara Foundation commissioned Nancy Berglass, project consultant and Senior Fellow at the Center for New American Security, to conduct a needs assessment of the county's veteran population. Besides providing demographics and other characteristics of the local veteran population, the assessment identified opportunities to better serve Santa Barbara County's veterans.
One of the stated opportunities was "to facilitate cooperation, collaboration and communication among and between public, private and non-profit organizations serving veterans.” Conversations with stakeholders and further research on efforts in other communities led to the determination that a Collective Impact Model would be the best fit for our County. This began with a foundational collaborative framework funded by a grant and support by staff from the Santa Barbara Foundation.