In 1969, a number of Latino residents from several Santa Barbara neighborhoods and students from UCSB came together to discuss the serious lack of available health care service. As a result of this concern, and with the help of the Santa Barbara Medical Society, a Community Health Task Force was established to study the health care service needs of the Santa Barbara East Side and make recommendations to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. As a result of this collaborated effort, the Eastside Neighborhood Clinic was reestablished at the Franklin Neighborhood Center.
The collaboration continued, and in November 1970, the Community Health Task Force became an official nonprofit corporation in the State of California.
In 1972, the organization was awarded a major funding from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The purpose of the grant was to assist in the development of prevention, intervention, and counseling services for the Latino community in Santa Barbara.
As a result of a request by the clients served in our substance abuse programs, on July 8, 1985, the name of the organization was officially changed to Zona Seca, Inc. In Spanish, zona seca means “dry zone.” Since then, the primary focus of the organization has been the reduction of substance abuse in the community of Santa Barbara. We believe that by doing so, we contribute to making our community a safer place for everyone and thereby improving the quality of life in Santa Barbara.
In July 2000, at the request of the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization, and with funding support from the Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services, Zona Seca opened an office in Lompoc to begin providing substance abuse services for the community.
Zona Seca, Inc. has served over 70,000 people in its 45 years of operation. Lives have been saved and families have reunited because of this agency’s efforts. Santa Barbara and its surrounding communities continue to benefit from the dedication of our staff working in our programs. As we move into the 21st century, the struggle to keep our youths, adults, and families free from the destruction that substance abuse delivers never ceases. With the support of the communities of Santa Barbara and Lompoc, we welcome the challenge of continuing to provide substance abuse services as we strive toward our pursuit of excellence at Zona Seca.