Casa Serena History

Mildred Pinheiro
Casa Serena opened its doors to alcoholic women in August of 1959 primarily through the efforts of our founder Mildred Pinheiro. Recovering from alcoholism herself, Mildred wanted to open the home “because there was no place here for a woman alcoholic to go for help.” The house was originally a project of the Santa Barbara Committee on Alcoholism (now the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse) but became a separate 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in 1973.

Three Houses, Three Havens for Recovery

At the core of our successes are three beautifully cared for and welcoming homes. The original house on Bath Street is able to accommodate 18 women and serves as the initial entry point to Casa Serena’s program. In the early 1990’s we purchased a second home nearby on Castillo Street. The Grad House is home to an additional 8 women, who are participating in the third phase of Casa Serena’s program.

In 2000 we acquired Oliver House, (located on the Mesa). Oliver House is licensed for 6 women and 10 children who are also participating in the fourth phase of Casa’s program.

Oliver House is the only residential facility in Santa Barbara that will accept both recovering women and their children. With a total capacity of 32 women and 10 children, we provide a caring staff and a gracious and dignified setting in which to live and grow. Casa Serena has given thousands of women a firm foundation on which to begin their recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

Our Mission

To help women and their families recover from addiction by providing evidence-based treatment services while building community, instilling self-determination, and empowering them with educational opportunities and financial literacy.

Our Vision

A joyous and purposeful life

Casa Serena:

  • Reunites families
  • Encourages women to fulfill their potential
  • Is the only non-denominational program of its kind in Santa Barbara
  • Is the only residential treatment facility for women with children in Santa Barbara County
  • Is the oldest residential recovery program for women in Santa Barbara County
  • Is a comprehensive residential treatment program is licensed by the State of California.
  • Changes lives forever

Professional and Experienced Staff

Casa Serena’s staff consists of trained professionals in the treatment of substance abuse. Our clinical team is made up of Marriage/Family Therapists (MFT’s) and MFT interns, as well as Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors and counselor interns. The clinical and program staff have experience in evidence-based treatment and 12-Step recovery, a social model for treatment of addiction and addictive behaviors.

Main House

Ph: 805. 966. 1260
Fax: 805. 884. 9010


Ph: 805. 564. 8701
Fax: 805. 884. 9010