Replacing isolation with companionship, one visit at a time

What We Do

Weekly visits by special volunteers brighten the lives of Santa Barbara County’s seniors.
Through our Senior Visitation Programs, isolated and home-bound seniors are connected with compassionate, trained and screened volunteers. We mobilize volunteers of all ages to improve the well-being of elders within the Jewish and wider community. Our volunteers provide support and companionship through hour-long weekly visits and phone calls to the seniors with whom they are matched.

Why We Do It

Many of the elders we serve have outlived or lost touch with their families and friends, and having limited mobility they become increasingly isolated. Visitation is an antidote to isolation. Alleviating social isolation has a positive effect on the outlook of older adults.

"I wanted to give a shout out to B. who has been visiting my mom for the last four years. When my mom first moved to her retirement community there were no other Jewish people there. I called the Jewish Federation to see if someone could visit her once in a while. We were introduced to B. shortly thereafter. She has been wonderful to my mom and I so appreciate her warm caring nature and her great sense of humor. We are so fortunate to have met her."

About Our Programs

Jewish Family Service offers two types of visitation programs that are similar but distinct: Volunteer Visitors (VV) and Caring Visitors (CV). VVs are volunteers of all faiths who visit both non-Jewish and Jewish elders, and CVs are members of Congregation B'nai B'rith who only visit elders within the Jewish Community who have requested a Jewish visitor.

Both VVs & CVs are screened, trained volunteers who visit isolated or homebound individuals, providing them with companionship and social interaction on a weekly basis for about an hour each visit. Clients who are visited live in their own homes, retirement communities, assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Our volunteers simply visit clients where they live or sometimes meet them away from home, but they do not drive them anywhere or do errands or other services.

For More Information

Contact us to learn more about becoming a Volunteer Visitor.
Nicole Slutzky, JFS Associate Clinical Social Worker
at 805.957.1116 x119
524 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101


"The gentleman I visit has no immediate family and is truly delighted to spend time with me. He loves the fact that I am Jewish and practice the faith because he cannot get out to the temple anymore. It is so nice to be able to give back to the community."
   --Diane Frankel

"It amazes me how appreciative people are for a moment of your time. An hour out of your life listening, talking and sharing with another human being costs you nothing but the rewards are incalculable."
   --Debi Scott

"Through the Caring Visitor program I have met some wonderful people whose lives have enriched mine. I am grateful to the congregation and to JFS for this opportunity."
   --Claire Bachmuth