People Helping People is dedicated to improving the lives of men, women, and children in the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos, and surrounding communities by addressing emergency and basic needs, furnishing comprehensive integrated family and individual support services, and acting as a catalyst for positive community change.
People Helping People was founded in 1992 by several local citizens and government officials who saw the need for a local non-profit organization to supply emergency and short-term social services. Organizers of People Helping People also had a larger vision for the organization. They foresaw the necessity to assist individuals and families extricate themselves from a cycle of poverty that required them to be dependent upon assistance. Therefore, founders included in People Helping People’s mission, the directive to empower individuals and families to become self-sufficient.
People Helping People began its service to the Valley in 1992 from donated office space in the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Solvang. The first year’s budget was $40,000. At that time, one full-time employee and a part-time receptionist staffed the organization. Programs were limited to food distribution and advocacy (assisting clients with government red tape, commercial disputes, and accessing other services). By 1994, People Helping People served 400 unduplicated clients. That is, clients counted one-time regardless of the number of services accessed.
Since those humble beginnings, People Helping People has purchased a building to house the many programs currently available to the community. There are twenty-two full and part-time employees in seven locations, 18 direct service programs, and a budget of more than 1.6 million dollars. In 2010-11, 3,700 unduplicated clients were served.
If you want to learn more about what PHP plans for the future check-out our 2014-17 Strategic Plan: Three Year Strategic Plan