New House I
Dinner at New House circa 1956 Elmo and Alex

Our History

On March 31, 1949, a small group of Santa Barbara citizens met with Marty Mann, founder of the National Council on Alcoholism, to discuss the problem of alcoholism in the Santa Barbara community. They incorporated in October of that year, calling themselves the Santa Barbara Committee on Alcoholism. Local facilities for alcoholism were inadequate, and in May of 1955, under the direction of Elmo Little – an electrician from Knoxville, Tennessee – the first New House was opened. The original supporters were pledged to keep New House self-supporting and free from government tangles and restrictions.

New House became independent of the Committee on Alcoholism in 1974, and in 1978 opened New House II to expand its capacity. By July of 1984, New House had served over 12,000 men, and New House II was moved from a temporary County-owned facility to its current location at 227 West Haley Street.

In February of 1991, New House III was purchased at 2434 Bath Street, increasing the New House capacity to 100 men. The original New House facility was retired and replaced by a Grad House on Castillo Street in 2001.


For more about our history download the full color PDF (22mb).


Elmo New House III Opening New House Book Cover