The crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending services in California emerged after the adoption of the Jumpstart Our Business Startup (JOBS) Act in 2012, which significantly expanded the ways in which sponsors raise capital for real estate acquisitions and development. The new law legalized the previously outlawed practice of advertising or openly soliciting private funding from accredited individuals and companies. Those with a net worth of $1,000,000, excluding their personal homes, or with an annual income equalling $200,000 per individual or $300,000 per household, if filed jointly with a spouse, can become an accredited investor. Kenny Slaught has noted how the amendments gave the green light to campaigns and lenders wanting to take part in debt and equity financing, where loans generate income in the form of interest, without a bank involved in the process. The online marketplace has created a new pathway for property owners and funders to peruse current investment offerings, perform due diligence, and maintain dashboards to track how assets and financial product performance.
Firms offering numerous online collaborations and, according to Kenny Slaught, more workflow automation are increasing in popularity, largely because of their ability to provide prompt access to accurate and concise data and information. New intuitive software and mobile apps, says Slaught, give investors and builders a greater selection of lending and borrowing opportunities across a variety of real estate asset classes and locations. After only a few years in the market, crowdfunding portals have rapidly grown over 150 startups in the US, specializing in real estate. Today, nearly 7% of the U.S population is an accredited investor. In a densely populated setting like Southern California, this number reaches 20%. Software platforms, such as CrowdEngine, RealtyShares, CrowdForce, among others, make it doable to legally raise money from the general public, with some going as far as attracting 90% of equity requirement through these community contributions.
“These grants are meant to spur on new discoveries that could ultimately save millions of lives,” noted Chris Wilson, Global Health Discovery Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “GCE winners are expanding the pipeline of ideas for serious global health and development challenges where creative thinking is most urgently needed.” Kenny Slaught believes that where human lives are concerned, medical research and practice need expanding horizons for quick and holistic global health initiatives.
Respected professor in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, David Low, will pursue a progressive global health and development research project called “Strategy for development of enteric pathogen-specific phage”. Low’s research, notes Kenny Slaught, focuses on a new way to deal with major bacterial pathogens that are becoming resistant to today’s powerful antibiotics. Low will build phage to selectively target and kill several pathogenic bacteria to eliminate enteric diseases in babies. They will engineer multiple options of the T2 lytic bacteriophage that connect multiple different regions of the BamA protein located on the surface of several pathogenic bacteria, which will mean that they only infect these specified bacteria. Furthermore, they will test the different phage for capacity to eliminate pathogenic E. coli as well as Shigella, and determine whether or not they cause resistance.
2015 saw the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation support the Girls Rock Santa Barbara program. Kenny Slaught believes that music is a means to empower young girls, and is therefore convinced the organization creates a supportive environment fostering the development of self-esteem and creativity in kids. Participants take music lessons, partake in workshops, and give performances. They challenge typical gender stereotypes, work with each other, and practice tolerance. Girls Rock Santa Barbara is a perfect representation of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation’s emphasis on making music and the arts accessible to everyone.
The annual symposium allows teachers, musicians, charitable donors, and local not-for-profits to visit with students and members of the community to discuss the state of arts education in Santa Barbara. This important program provides the foundation for creating better, more productive programs in the future. More education outreach initiatives include collecting instruments for needy students, grants to community programs that wish to benefit from the resources at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and scholarships for college students studying the performing arts. The foundation also funds a children’s program at Cottage Hospital and many in-school and after-school programs, particularly in neighborhoods affected by the concert season at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The Notes for Notes program aims to provide students with free instruments and music lessons, and a large volunteer committee facilitates this education outreach, notes Kenny Slaught.
Both individuals facing death and their loved ones have to deal with anticipatory grief as the unavoidable draws near, notes Kenny Slaught. He notes an unmatched level of professionalism and compassion that the dedicated staff of Hospice of Santa Barbara has demonstrated to help loved ones and those with terminal illness confront and handle this grief in constructive ways so that they can enjoy their final days together with minimal stress and anxiety. Facing this grief directly can boost communication between loved ones and allow for saying what needs to be said and achieving a sense of closure, which can ease the grieving process after the loss occurs.
Continued supporter of outreach initiatives, Santa Barbara-based entrepreneur and leading force in the real estate sector, Kenny Slaught gladly embraces Hospice of Santa Barbara’s various initiatives aimed at helping those who suffered hardship in their lives to learn to experience joy and meaningfulness again through empathy and self-care. In keeping with his intentions as a visionary philanthropist, he advocates for the Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Anticipatory Grief Services program and continues to educate the broader public about the importance of social support, particularly for people who have experienced the loss of those closest to them. With this goal, Slaught recently promoted these programs on his blog, available at KennySlaught.com.
Kenny Slaught recognizes that many families depend on the hospice and their counseling and support services. Regularly, the hospice offers individual, group, and family counseling sessions free of charge. These helpful programs deal with a variety of issues regarding traumatic loss while emphasizing the various aspects of emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being that are critical for those in these situations. For individuals who cannot attend the center, the hospice offers counseling sessions at many other safe locations within the community. Research has proven that those attending counseling sessions early in the grieving process can greatly reduce their risk of unresolved grief manifesting down the road. Additional research has found that counselors specializing in matters related to loss and grief are more effective at helping those who have experienced a traumatic event than general mental health practitioners.
Hospice of Santa Barbara serves not just for those facing terminal and chronic illness, but also provides support to their families. Many of the programs at the organization are built for children struggling with the impending or recent passing of a family member. Kenny Slaught notes that about 20 percent of children experience the death of a loved one prior to turning 18, and one in 20 children suffer the death of one or both parents before prior to adulthood. Hospice of Santa Barbara has been working to provide individuals in these situations with compassionate care via numerous programs to help these individuals cope with grief, so they can avoid or mitigate depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).