People Helping People (PHP), located in Solvang, CA in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, is the primary provider of human and social services in mid Santa Barbara County. PHP’s service area includes Buellton, Solvang, Santa Ynez, Ballard, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, and the Gaviota Coast. Limited services are provided in the Lompoc Valley.
Our service area is composed of primarily rural ranches, farms, and vineyards. The population of the Santa Ynez Valley has grown exponentially over recent years to over 30,000 residents. The area is also notable for its income disparities with more than 20% of the overall population living at or near Federal poverty levels. As of 2018, Santa Barbara County has one of the highest poverty rates in California.
Incorporated in 1992, PHP is a California 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation. PHP is also registered with the California Registry of Charitable Trusts, registration number CT 1848585. PHP is in good standing and you may make inquiries regarding our status to the Office of the California Attorney General at www.caag.state.ca.us.
People Helping People has a vision that all men, women and children in our service area have the opportunity to attain self-sufficiency with dignity, are able to fulfill their potential, and live in a healthy community.
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.
PHP 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. The founders also had a larger vision for the organization. They foresaw the necessity to assist individuals and families to extricate themselves from a cycle of poverty that required them to be dependent upon assistance. Therefore, the founders included in PHP’s mission the directive to empower individuals and families to become self-sufficient.
PHP began its service 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, which included assisting clients with applying for government aid, commercial disputes, and accessing other community services. By 1994, PHP served 400 unduplicated clients (clients counted one-time regardless of the number of services accessed).
Since those humble beginnings, PHP has purchased a building to house the many programs currently available to the community. There are currently 18 full and part-time employees in 7 locations, 18 direct service programs, and a budget of more than $2 million. In 2018-19, 3,725 unduplicated clients were served.