New Beginnings News & Events

Events are a wonderful way for our organization to stay connected with the community, and the people that help New Beginnings sustain and grow. We always have new and exciting events scheduled and look forward to welcoming new friends and connecting with our existing supporters on a regular basis. Please check back for frequent updates.

new beginnings basks in national press

New Beginnings Counseling Center’s Safe Parking Program Featured in
Rolling Stone Magazine
Article on ‘Recession’s Middle Class Casualties’

Rolling StoneNew Beginnings Counseling Center once again receives national attention for its Safe Parking Program™ which helps middle class families struggling to regain their footing in today’s difficult economy. The program’s unique approach to dealing with homelessness maintains its commitment to helping the homeless find housing and employment.

The Safe Parking Program™, often regarded a model program by international media examining the homelessness crisis, has been featured by NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, CNN, People Magazine and the Larry King Show. “Our mission,” says Executive Director Kristine Schwarz “is to provide the support services necessary for all members of our community to thrive. This particular program aims to empower the non-traditional homeless and provide the level of stability they need to make positive change.”

“The individuals and families who are served by the Safe Parking Program™ are not only homeless,” adds Roslyn Scheuerman, one of the program’s two case managers. “They are refugees from the American Dream.” The program, founded in 2004, provides case management and outreach to the homeless population and safe overnight parking to individuals and families living in their vehicles. In 2010-2011, the program served over 800 people. “The Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and the County of Santa Barbara have been tremendously supportive of the program since its inception,” said Schwarz. “Without government contracts and grants, the program would be without funding.”

The article entitled “The Recession’s Middle-Class Casualties,” can currently be found on the news stand, online at or at, or at


CNN features New Begnnings

America Tonight Features New Beginnings

America Tonight Features New Beginnings

805 Focus

full time worker living in a car

About New Beginnings Counseling Center

Short Film about New Beginnings Counseling Center

Evening Insight: Dr. Alan Haffa Interviews New Beginnings


2015 Changing Lives Gala

Thursday, October 8th, 2015
El Encanto Hotel
More information to follow!

Anger management group

12-Week Anger Management classes
Wednesdays, 5:30pm—7:30pm
Sign-up now call 805-963-7777 x108
$20 per group/week

To download a flyer and detailed information please click here

DBT therapy group

12-Week Dialetical Behavioral Therapy Group-Informed Skills Training Group that will address mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mondays, 6:00pm—7:30pm
Sign-up now call 805-963-7777 x108
$20 per session

To download a flyer and detailed information please click here


New Beginnings Counseling Center and its programs have been featured locally in print, online and broadcast media and nationally on NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, CNN and even the Larry King Show, among others.

Below are links to recent articles.

Please contact Executive Director, Kristine Schwarz, with all press and media inquiries.

Fritz Creative Marketing Wins Coastal California Silver ADDY® Award with New Beginnings Counseling Center Annual Appeal Mailer

New Beginnings Counseling Center’s Safe Parking Program Featured in Rolling Stone Magazine

ABC News - In Wealthy Santa Barbara, Some Call a Parking Lot Home

Expensive Cities Allowing People to Sleep in their Cars

Montecito Journal’s Seen Around Town

Noozhawk - Housing Authority Program Helps Local Families Achieve 'Self-Sufficiency'

Financial Times: Deutschland:
Hohe Immobilienpreise in den USA: Obdachlos trotz Fulltimejob
"High real estate prices in the U.S.: Homeless despite full-time job"

Santa Barbara Independent - Evicted Low Income Tenants Look for New Homes

Goleta Likely to Allow RV Camping

In Santa Barbara, Home Is Where the Lot Is


2014 Gala

New Beginnings Gala

Thank you all for making this a great event!

Building Community sponsor

Glenn & Amy Bacheller

Hope and Inspiration Sponsor


Caring Hearts Sponsor

Susan E. Bower

Richard and Maryan Schall

Helping Hands Sponsor

Marcia and John Cohen

John and Cynthia Sanger

Carrie Towbes and John Lewis

Sara Miller McCune

Cottage Hospital
Montecito Bank and Trust Fund for Santa Barbara


Los Arroyos Santa Barbara


Psychological Resiliency: The Bulletproof Mind

August 21, 2014
Col. Dave Grossman, M.Ed.

Dave Grossman, M.Ed.
Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.)

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.

A former Army Ranger and paratrooper with a total of over 23 years of experience in leading U.S. soldiers worldwide, Col. Grossman taught psychology at West Point and is the author of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Col. Grossman has presented before the national conventions of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school shootings. Col. Grossman was also involved in counseling, training, or court cases in the aftermath of the school shootings at Paducah, Springfield, Littleton, Nickel Mines Amish School, and Virginia Tech.


more info



A seminar with Floyd G. “Shad” Meshad, LCSW
“Treating the Invisible Wounds of War”

Shad is a Vietnam Veteran that has been working with Veterans for over 30 years. He founded the National Veterans Foundation and co-founded the VA’s “Vet Center” outreach program. He is one of America’s most sought after consultants on Combat Stress, Trauma Therapy, & readjustment issues confronting returning soldiers and their families. Shad has appeared on major television networks and cable news talk shows, including 60 Minutes, 20/20, Dateline, Niteline, and CNN News.

June 17, 2014

For more information click here or contact Tracie Gunderson at (805) 450-9168

Bimmerfest 2014

New Beginnings was been chosen as the Non-Profit recipient for the Opportunity Drawing at Bimmerfest 2014

Bimmerfest is a festival and gathering of BMW enthusiasts.

Place: Rose Bowl Lawn in Pasadena.

Date/Time: May 17, 2014 from 9:00AM to 3:00PM 

For more information, visit

changing lives fall gala dinner

Special thank you to Changing Lives Gala 2013
event sponsors, donors, and contributors:


Building Community Level

Anonymous &

Hope & Inspiration Level


Caring Hearts Level

Hon. Susan Rose & Allan Ghitterman
Cheryl & Gary Justice


Helping Hand Level

Sara Miller McCune
Carrie Towbes & John Lewis
El Encanto
Marcia & John Cohen
Robert & Jackie Henretig
Joe Medjuck & Laurie Deans

Fund for Santa Barbara
Cottage Hosipital

Pre-Event Donors

IMX Pilates
San Ysidro Ranch
Anthony Allina, MD & Christiane Schlumberger
William Burton & Laura Burton Capps
Ann & David Gersh
Chris & Mark Levine
John & Lynne Hoffman
Gail Rappaport
Bob & Patti Strojeck


Michael Holland
David Grossman
Judi Weisbart

Comic Relief Santa Barbara

Comic Relief Santa Barbara

The inaugural event in Santa Barbara featured three headliners: Greg Otto, Karen Rontowski and Cary Odes.


For more than 30 years, Greg Otto has appeared all over the world in 60 countries on five continents entertaining at venues such as the Mirage, MGM Grand, and the Comedy Store. Otto has appeared on many television shows including Evening at the Improv, Comedy Central, A&E, Showtime, and Newhart and has shared the stage with Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Dennis Miller, Jerry Seinfeld, and many others.


From the Late Show with David Letterman to Sirius Satellite Radio, Karen Rontowski has a stand-up career that spans over 20 years and includes performances on Comedy Central, Live at Gotham, and Comics Unleashed. Rontowski has opened for such show biz legends as Bob Hope, Ray Charles and David Brenner and she is a regular on the Bob and Tom Radio Show.


Cary Odes' television credits include Melrose Place and Touched By An Angel. Odes studied at Second City with improv legend Del Close and then toured the country doing stand-up for more than ten years. Odes now runs The Standup Workshop in LA. 


Interested in sponsorship? Please click here to learn about our opportunities.

George Carlin Sponsorship level

Amy & Glenn Bacheller

Richard Pryor Sponsorship level

Hon. Susan Rose & Allan Ghitterman


Jonathan Winters Sponsorship level

Jean B. Kaplan

Jackie and Bob Henretig


Fell, Marking, Abkin, Montgomery, Granet & Raney, LLP

Baratto Insurance Inc.


Event Donors

Whole Foods Market

San Ysidro Ranch

Ziad Elkurjie

Old Yacht Club Inn

NON-PROFIT Santa Barbara, CA.

On Thursday, September 26th, New Beginnings Counseling Center hosted its annual Changing Lives Gala at the newly renovated El Encanto. Over 160 community and business leaders joined together with New Beginnings’ staff, table hosts, sponsors, and Board of Directors to celebrate and honor the successes of the programs and services offered by New Beginnings Counseling Center.

Event speakers included Hon. Susan Rose, former Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors; Ian Silverberg, Social Venture Partners of Santa Barbara; Dianne Pannkuk , New Beginnings’ Board of Directors President; Jon Parra, Coordinator of Veteran and Military Services at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Judi Weisbart, A Busy Woman Consulting, and Kristine Schwarz , New Beginnings’ Executive Director. The Gala met its fundraising goal to help sustain and grow its nationally recognized programs for at-risk families and individuals.

“Sometimes the solution to a problem is right in front of you.” said Hon. Susan Rose about the beginnings of the RV Safe Parking program. “One night I was coming from my office at the Board of Supervisors when I realized that the employee parking lot was almost entirely empty. It was exactly the kind of site we had been looking for all over town. Within a few months the County initiated the safe parking program using its own property. After that, others followed.”

Ian Silverberg related that “One of the guests at the gala told me that they were so inspired by the work that New Beginnings does that while I was speaking they ended up voiding the first check and writing a second check for a larger amount.”

Special thank you to New Beginnings Counseling Center’s ‘Changing Lives’ Gala 2013 event sponsors and donors including: Bimmerfest 2013; Venoco, Inc.; Montecito Bank & Trust; Hon. Susan Rose & Allan Ghitterman; Cheryl & Gary Justice; Sarah Miller McCune; The Fund for Santa Barbara; Carrie Towbes and John Lewis; Bryant and Sons, Ltd.; Cottage Health Systems, El Encanto; Marcia & John Cohen; Robert & Jackie Henretig; Nancy Brown; Joe Medjuck & Laurie Deans; Santa Barbara Winery; Glenn & Amy Bacheller; Barb & Sam Toumayan; IM=X Pilates; San Ysidro Ranch and others.

“The Santa Barbara business and philanthropic communities have rallied for New Beginnings” said Kristine Schwarz, Executive Director. “Last year, New Beginnings Counseling Center supported more than 1,700 families and individuals in need throughout the Santa Barbara community. The success of the fundraising Gala will help us continue to change even more lives, one person at a time.”

The evening featured inspiring performances by David Grossman, Executive Director of The Music Academy of the West on piano and Michael Holland of Holland Electronics on guitar. The evening featured a short film about New Beginnings’ produced by filmmaker Wasabi Fan. After the dinner and program, Diane Pannkuk, Board President, invited guests to the dessert reception on the patio outside the ballroom at El Encanto.

DSM-5 Workshop - a sold out event

New Beginnings Counseling Center offered a six-hour workshop overview of the new DSM-5. The workshop was held on Friday, July 26th at the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

DSM-5 WorkshopThe six-hour workshop was facilitated by Patricia Lenahan, LCSW, and discussed the breakdown of the diagnostic categories, the changes that have occurred, theoretical explanations of each update, the goals of the DSM and the diagnostic process, and a brief history and development of the DSM and its changes over time. As well, Ms. Lenahan discussed the degree of controversy that accompanies this revision.


Ms. Lenahan is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work and a Faculty Advisor for the Latino Student Social Work Caucus. Previous posts include positions as the Director of the Comprehensive Care Center, Share Our Selves in Costa Mesa, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor and Health Sciences Associate Professor for the Department of Family Medicine at the UCI Department of Medicine, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, a Lecturer in the Certificate Program in Gerontology at California State University, Fullerton, a Clinical Social Worker with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, a Lecturer for the Department of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach, a Perinatal Social Worker at Prentice Women’s Hospital & Maternity Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and a Pediatric Social Worker at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Ms. Lenahan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Behavioral Science Examiners, the National Association of Social Workers and The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress; and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist in the State of California. She maintains membership in numerous professional organizations including the Association of Behavioral Science and Medical Education, the American Society on Aging, and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Ms. Lenahan engages in many professional and civic activities, has received numerous awards, including most recently NASW Social Worker of the Year, Orange County Chapter, 2011. She is also the author of many publications, books, and book reviews, provides online continuing education courses, and has been lecturing on the subject of mental health since 1979, including recent presentations on the changes to the DSM.





Shades of Jazz

Music at the June 7th event was provided by “Shades of Jazz”
Players: Joe Gram, Joe Kurpell, Michael Petracca, + Dean Janoff

Bimmerfest 2013 Gives Back to the Community

New Beginnings was chosen as the Non-Profit recipient for the Opportunity Drawing at Bimmerfest 2013

Bimmerfest is a festival and gathering of BMW enthusiasts. The most recent Bimmerfest was held on May 18th at the Rose Bowl Lawn in Pasadena. New Beginnings Counseling Center was chosen to be the non-profit to run the Opportunity Drawing at Bimmerfest 2013. The BMW community was very generous with New Beginnings and through the Opportunity Drawing; we raised $5,240 toward our programs and services. There were over 100 items donated to the 'Opportunity Drawing' from 23 sponsors and plenty of BMW owners willing to support us for a chance to win.
There was an especially sweet moment during the raffle when the BMW training bicycle, donated by Sterling BMW, was won by a little boy's family who wished that he could win the bicycle for his little sister.

For more information, visit



Special thanks to Jon Shafer of Bimmerfest for choosing us for this year's event; to Alexander BMW for their generous $2,000 donation to New Beginnings Counseling Center; and all the Bimmerfest Opportunity Drawing sponsors and participants. You are making a difference in the lives of others.

Bimmerfest 2013 Opportunity Drawing sponsors:
BMW of Santa Barbara
Nick Alexander Imports
Morr Wheels
The Suspension Source
Mackin Industries
KW Automotive
Race Technologies
Apollo Vredestein Tires, Inc.
Eibach Springs Inc.
Borla Performance Industries

ESS Performance Products, USA Inc.
Custom European Plates
Sterling BMW
GROM Audio
Canyon Mile
Change A Life Foundation
HR Special Springs, LP
Bimmian Automotive USA
Sight Waves
aFe Power


Dr. Tina Payne Bryson inspired over 100 attendees with her presentation on her book, ‘The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind’ on January 15 at Unity Church. Dr. Bryson illustrated the need to integrate our right and left brain hemispheres with humorous stories that opened up the audience’s ability to learn and apply her Brain Science research. Her presentation was easy to follow and insightful. The local Santa Barbara audience loved that she also answered questions after the presentation and was available to sign her book following her presentation.







New Beginnings’ Staff, Board and Supporters gathered at Santa Barbara Central Library's Faulkner Gallery on November 29th for light refreshments and to learn firsthand how NBCC's programs help people in our community have new beginnings.

NBCC also debuted a short film about the Center directed by local Santa Barbara City College student, Wasabi Fan.

More than 50 supporters attended the intimate event sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust. Other contributors to the event include: Rincon Catering, Whole Foods, the Fund for Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Winery and

Thank you to Judi Weisbart for taking photos at the event.

Spring Wine Tasting
Carr Winery and Vineyards Tasting Room

Our Spring Wine Tasting, held on May 18, 2012 at Carr Winery and Vineyards Tasting Room, was very successful thanks to the support of our local community. Over 120 people came out to the event to celebrate the work of New Beginnings Counseling Center, sample great wines, eat gourmet food and enjoy live jazz music from Bossa Blue.

A big thank you goes to Montecito Bank and Trust and all of our sponsors, volunteers, board members and staff for a fun filled and lively event. Our wonderful food sponsors provided an abundance of gourmet food.

Every guest qualified to win their choice of a raffle prize and supported our work by bidding on auction items. The winery was packed with happy people enjoying the spring wine tasting in support of New Beginnings Counseling Center!


Montecito Bank and Trust

Thank you Alison Photography for the great photos of the Spring Wine Tasting Event

New Beginnings Counseling Center
Spring Wine Tasting, May 18th, 2012

Lead Sponsor:
Montecito Bank and Trust

Food Sponsors:
California Wood Fired Catering
Catering Connection
Fresco Café’
Rincon Beach Catering
The Berry Man
Via Maestra 42
Whole Foods Market

In-Kind Donations from:
Boone Graphics
Fritz Creative Marketing
Carr Winery and Vineyards
Photography by -Alison Photography
Music by -Bossa Blue
Auction support by -Santa Barbara Bank and Trust

Auction and Raffle Sponsors:
Arch Rock Fish
Corum Luxury Timepieces
Dr. Kevin Khalili- Laser Rehab Institute
Halper Fine Arts
Healing Grounds Nursery
IM=X Pilates Studio
J. Le May Studios
James Paul Brown
Kathy Wright- Crestview Condos
Lissa Liggett Perfumes
Louie’s Restaurant
Metropolitan Theaters
Myriad Flowers
Nimita’s Cuisine
Paul Mitchell the School- Santa Barbara
Rosio Aparicio Hernandez
Santa Barbara Chumash Tours
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store
Santa Barbara Tennis Club
Santa Barbara Winery
Yankee Candle

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