Santa Barbara Rescue Mission - Bethel House

535 East Yanonali Street, Santa Barbara, California, 93103



Avg. score from 5 reviews


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About Santa Barbara Rescue Mission - Bethel House


The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s Bethel House is a faith-based treatment facility designed exclusively for women. The residential rehab offers a 12-month program that’s based on the 12-Step model of recovery and emphasizes the importance of cultivating a meaningful relationship with God. In a safe and nurturing environment, women are given the opportunity to share their painful experiences, develop healthy, meaningful relationships and learn the coping skills necessary for a successful and fulfilling life in sobriety.


Holistic Therapy

Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.

Facility Highlights
  • Addiction Education
  • Family Support Groups
  • Christian Recovery Groups

Reviewed by Our Contributors


Founded in 1965, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that operates four residential facilities for individuals struggling with addiction and homelessness in the Southern Californian city of Santa Barbara. Bethel House offers long-term residential treatment for women struggling with substance abuse. The house is one of the state's 736 (51.5 percent) treatment facilities offering female-specific programming.


According to the center's website, “the program’s core tenet is that recovery occurs in relationships with God, others, and self.” Women stay in treatment for 12 months, and the program is built around the Christian faith and the 12-Steps.

Many residents have been struggling with addiction and sometimes homelessness for decades. During the residential program, clients may regularly attend 12-step meetings, perform step-work, and obtain a sponsor. The program also provides family support, education about addiction, relapse prevention training, career development services, and job placement opportunities.

The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission also offers sober living facilities for successful graduates of the residential treatment program. In California, Bethel House is among the 46.1 percent of facilities to provide employment counseling or training for clients.


There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff; however the sole alum polled on the matter by at the time of this writing gave five out of five stars for the level of staff support.


The facility's website notes the Bethel House accommodates 24 women and fills two large buildings, which are joined by a garden patio. Of the two alumni surveyed by on the matter, one gave five out of five stars for accommodations and amenities, while the other gave two stars for this metric.


Of the four alumni who were surveyed by at the time of this writing, one provided positive feedback, two provided negative feedback, and one left a neutral review.

One former client gave five out of five stars for the effectiveness of lead counselors, the facility's ability to resolve conflict, and also indicated she would recommend the treatment center. "The program was 12 months of education and change in my life. I was provided with everything necessary to become a productive member of society," she wrote. She also noted she was now employed at the treatment center.

Karyn gave a lower rating of three stars for treatment effectiveness. "I was just 'ready' so anything was good for me...this was a facility that had the majority of patients as court ordered. It was very 'faith based' rather than 12 step," she wrote.

In the two negative reviews submitted to to date, former residents described a cliquey, gossipy, unwelcoming atmosphere. “When I lived there It was not in any way God's House. There was nothing there that made me feel at peace and safe,” J.H. wrote. M.B. also complained about the staff. “The staff was, to put it mildly, totally unprofessional,” she wrote.

The facility received nearly unanimous praise on secondary sites to date. Thirteen reviewers generated a 4.2 out of five-star average rating on Google, where the programming, staff, and meals were all praised.[1] "The staff there is more than qualified to help those who want to break away from everything that is holding them back from who they should be," P.H. representatively wrote.

The 52 people who left reviews on Santa Barbara Rescue Mission's Facebook page, which it has the ability to manage, provided a 4.4 out of five star average. However, the page is for the entire mission, not just the Bethel House.[2] Reviewers tended to also praise the organization's staff and expressed gratitude for the services offered.


The single staffer polled by to date gave positive feedback. “Very good staff who put client needs as a priority,” she wrote. She gave five out of five stars in all the evaluated treatment metrics, includes its honesty and willingness to put patients' interests firsts and the overall quality of its care.


According to the center's website, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission receives most of its support from donations and grants. A very small proportion of its revenue comes from program fees — though residents are asked to pay for part or all their treatment, if they’re able.


In May of 2018, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission raised $100,000 through a fundraising luncheon to build a new 32-bed facility in Santa Barbara. Overall, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission has recently set a $10 million goal to expand and remodel its original campus.

[1] GoogleReviews

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5 Reviews

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  • M.B.
    I wish I could say that my time at tihis facility was positive and helpful, but iI can not. After my application was approved iI was put on a waiting list and required to call in daily. After three months iI was informed that a bed was available. All went well for the first few days. Then I started to notice the cadiness of many girls in the program, which made things uncomdortable. The staff was, to put it mildly, totally unprofessional. One staff member was a neurotic mess. Another senior staff, was was most often rude and unable to make decisions and stick to them. There was a feeling of seperation among the \"clicks\" which were formed. The atmosphere was unwelcoming. This is not conducive to rehab success.
  • JH
    Sooooo doing a full year and graduating at Bethel House, the drama central, gossip filled (including some staff and also a staff member talking crud to residents about other residents), people crud talking behind people backs and staff having favorites, being obvious to the residents that weren\'t their favorites. So much unneeded drama in a place where we are trying to learn better ways of communicating and controlling our old behaviors and old patterns that destroyed us and need to learn better ways of dealing with issues in a civil way ..... and what really makes me angry and upset and was especially NOT AT ALL IN ANY WAY OK!!!!! Is when a BH staff member works at a drug and alcohol rehab, teaching, counseling, giving advice, teaching us to learn that we can learn to live a great sucsessful joyful life without using or drinking so we start trusting them because they are our teacher..But then loosing all trust in them when someone had to come take over their morning shift because the person working that day was an hour and a half late... acting strangely. And NO they didn\'t fire her imedietly and let her come back the next day which made it seam like they don\'t care for the residents well being.... just absolutely wrong. It could have been triggering to us and change our whole view on what we there for learning, getting the help we need and trusting the staff to counsel us.... in the long run being there I learnd to not trust people who are there to help us and teach us, i learned that nothing has changed from when i was growing up having a hard time making friends and people gossiping about me, talking behind my back and even the people you\'re close with still talked crud behind your back. It never changed its still the same and is still tramatic to me so being there made it even worse and if i had felt safe and more comfortable without all the drama i think i could have been able to focus more on learning everything that was being tought there. I mean yeah I sure learnd stuff and have some tools I work with now that I\'m out of there BUT....when will it ever end? Just do me a favor BH, pay attention to the residents that are living there now. If you are so bored that you need to talk badly about me or other people who left or graduated and want to find something to talk about, maybe talk about how you need to change the way you run the program and get staff that fallows an actual Christian lifestyle. Isn\'t that what the whole program is based on? Because when I lived there It was not in any way God\'s House. There was nothing there that made me feel at peace and safe. Always uncomfortable feelings that just didn\'t feel right. No one not even staff acted the way God would have wanted us to act in the House of God. Omg it feels so good to finally let this out! Ahhh I\'ve been wanting to express my feelings for so long but never had the courage to do so.... so yeah, I graduated, I\'m gone... there is no reason for you to keep tabs on me anymore. You did your thing. Time to focus on the residents you have now. And yeah, even though you give us a bible, have bible studies, send us to bible study and church. You should really consider actually having the residents and staff living the Christian lifestyle while they are in the Bethel House Program... if not, chang the name of the program becauze its misleading.P.s stop gossiping about me and other people who are out of the program now and saying to some of us we\'re doing things the wrong way, and blah blah blah. You guys say you only want us to live a healthy life and you really care for us don\'t talk bad things about us. And when you guys still give advice or your opinions and I don\'t think that\'s the best for me and I don\'t do it your way i get blamed for my personal issues on not following your advice. And they are not at all related whatsoever.... Personally, really.... you guys should be working oh how you can make Bethel House more of an effective program with less relapse rates and successful outcomes.......... Just saying
  • Lori
    Very good staff who put client needs as a priority. It was inspiring and an effective treatment of addiction. We have one of the highest success rates in the country. We have good staff to client ratio's. The Genesis relapse prevention counseling and faith based education is key to our success. We survive by donations only.
  • Clint
    • Treatment Effectiveness
    • Accommodations
    • Meals and Nutrition
    The program was 12 months of education and change in my life. I was provided with everything necessary to become a productive member of society. It is the perfect combination of self knowledge and spirituality. I am now employed there.
  • Karyn
    • Treatment Effectiveness
    • Accommodations
    • Meals and Nutrition
    I was just 'ready' so anything was good for me...this was a facility that had the majority of patients as court ordered. It was very 'faith based' rather than 12 step.