The GRAD Initiative

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is committed to providing academic support and safe and constructive extracurricular programs for youth of all ages. We believe this is a key to creating a healthy, engaging community in which our resident children and teens can succeed and thrive.

The Housing Authority provides many successful and innovative programs in collaboration with other community groups – and steps in to fill some of the gaps left by the school budget crisis and by the schedules of families working hard to advance themselves.

For more information about the GRAD Initiative, please contact Charla Bregante, Resident Programs Coordinator II, at (805) 897-1045 or

The GRAD Program – Growth, Readiness and Development

The Goal

  • Achieve a high school graduation rate of 95% among Family Self-Sufficiency youth
  • Ensure graduates are either college and/or career ready

What is GRAD?

  • Initiative aligned with the goals of the Santa Barbara Unified School District:
    • Elementary school students (K-3rd) achieving grade level proficiency in English Language Arts and Math within three years of entering the school district
    • Secondary school students (7th-12th) achieving grade level proficiency in Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Science to graduate high school
  • Students will be encouraged and supported to meet the University of California and California State University requirements
  • Students will participate in comprehensive education enrichment programs consisting of ongoing case management and tutoring

For more information about HACSB youth programs, call Resident Services at (805) 897-1044

GRAD Academy Programs

Homework Centers

Homework assistance for kids in grades K-12 is available at two locations for children and youth in math, science, history and language arts. Supported by tutors from the Assistance League, Cal SOAP, and community volunteers.

Choices for Girls

A program for girls in 6th – 8th grade.  Choices builds self-esteem, confidence and healthy decision making skills to help young girls develop successful academic and personal lives.

Crossroads for Boys

A program for boys in 6th – 8th grade.  Crossroads builds confidence, provides positive role models, and promotes healthy decision making for tween boys.

GRAD Academy Locations

The Family Opportunity Center

The goal of the Family Opportunity Center at Monteria Village is to provide a safe learning environment for the children of Santa Barbara’s west-side community. The program focuses on self-esteem and peer interaction both in the complex and at school. Children attend 2 hours per day, 4 days a week and receive assistance with their homework from the Women’s Assistance League, UCSB student volunteers through Cal-SOAP and other community members. Participants learn to use computers and the Internet through our computer lab. For some, this is one of their only outlets to access this type of technology. Additionally, the Center has collaborated with the Women’s Assistance League of Santa Barbara and UCSB student volunteers to provide a teen program twice a month.

Paseo Voluntario Learning Center

Similar to the Center at Monteria Village, the Paseo Voluntario Center serves children in Santa Barbara’s east-side community.  Youth are free to use the center and attend the After School Homework Program.  Resident Services staff and Housing Authority interns assit the children in several subject matters.

The computer lab provides education in computers and supervised access to the educational benefits of the Internet.

Teen Academy

Teen Night

High school students explore issues such as drugs and alcohol, sexuality, life skills, and learn goal setting and decision making skills.

Teen Tutoring

Academic tutoring, STEM support, mentoring, SAT preparation, and college application guidance for high school students.

Partner Agencies

The Housing Authority is pleased to collaborate with the following agencies to provide a variety of extra-curricular activities:

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts incorporate the Discover, Connect, and Take Action keys to leadership. For girls ages 7-17.

Everybody Dance Now!

Everybody Dance Now is offered to boys and girls ages 6-18. Through EDN, participants learn various hip-hop dance moves and perform at local events.

Summer Programs

Literacy in the Garden

Kids explore a variety of literature, boost reading and writing skills, create art, and dig in the dirt in this summer reading program. Time is divided between learning in the classroom and cultivating in the garden.


Explore the history of Santa Barbara with knowledgeable guides from the Trust for Historic Preservation. Camp includes daily field trips to sites such as La Purisma Mission and the Oakbrook Chumash Museum. Participants learn many historical facts about their city and enjoy fun and interactive activities.

Sports Camp – Football and Soccer

Youth learn the basics of football and soccer, team work and leadership. Soccer on Mondays, football on Thursdays and supervised playground time on both days.

In addition to the above camps, the Housing Authority continues to collaborate with Everybody Dance Now and Girl Scouts during the summer, as well as run its own programs, Crossroads for Boys and Choices for Girls.

Summer Programs Brochure