Grace Housing, Inc.
Grace Housing, Inc. (GHI) was established by the membership of the former Grace Lutheran Church of Santa Barbara. The non-profit was created to serve the greater Santa Barbara community in support of critical basic human needs such as food, shelter, and housing for families and individuals.
In keeping with the mission of Grace Lutheran Church and GHI, Grace Village was built on the land where the church once stood. The land was gifted to the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. Now this subsidized senior apartment complex of 57 units is administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. Additional adjacent property owned by the congregation was gifted to California Lutheran Homes so that the lease income could develop and expand funds to fulfill the Legacy of Grace Lutheran Church, which is overseen by GHI.
Grace Housing, Inc. has established a three-fold Legacy Plan through the vision of the former Grace Lutheran Church membership:
To continue to provide and potentially expand financial support to programs and organizations that have been long supported by the former Grace Lutheran Church congregation and that address the basic needs of families and individuals in the greater Santa Barbara community.
To expand funding, as it becomes available, to additional programs and organizations in Santa Barbara that address the basic needs of families and individuals in our community.
To provide long-term funding in partnership with California Lutheran Homes, Inc./Front Porch, to support future subsidized housing for low-income seniors, giving highest priority to those in the Santa Barbara community. The first such project has been to provide partial funding to build Johnson Court, a residence with supportive services for veterans who have been homeless.
A History of Grace Lutheran Church
In 1902 a small but faithful group of Christians decided there should be a Lutheran Church in Santa Barbara. A meeting was called in a little store where plans were made for the future. The first service was held in the Faith Mission on January 1, 1903. In February, the congregation began its worship in the Cooperative Hall on De La Vina Street. The name of the church was Grace English Evangelical Lutheran Church and the
Rev. A. C. Delbre was the first minister.
After two years of searching for a church site, the opportunity came in June 1906 to purchase the First Congregational Church building and its furnishings at 1109 Anacapa Street for $5,250. Growth of the church was slow, but the spirit of the congregation never diminished. The members took their place in the church and in service to the larger community.
As the Santa Barbara community expanded, the church began to look for a more suitable location. Finally, in May 1956 the congregation purchased the property at 3869 State Street and a new church sanctuary with education building and lounge was built. The first service took place on April 3, 1960.