Introducing - Wayne Martin Mellinger

Visit this wonderful Artists Blog
Our Neighbors on the Streets
A social Justice Perspective

About Wayne
I am a social justice educator, activist and writer, living in Santa Barbara, CA, where I work as a social worker for neighbors on the streets, particularly with those with mental health challenges. I advocate for all who are denied equal access to basic needs or are treated without dignity and respect.

I have a passion for helping chronically homeless and dually diagnosed individuals transition into permanent housing and self-sufficiency. I have worked as a Street Outreach Worker / Case Manager / Counselor for WIllBridge of Santa Barbara, the Safe Parking Program, Casa Esperanza Homeless Shelter, Transition House (Family Shelter) and New Beginnings Counseling Center. I am certified as a substance abuse counselor and bring substantial study of mental illness and treatment modalities to my work in the field. I now teach in the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Program at Santa Barbara City College.

I also teach a wide range of social sciences classes at Antioch University Santa Barbara, including mass media, social psychology, and social work classes, in which I proudly infuse the notion of “praxis for social justice” into every class.

I know that when we critically reflect upon our actions and then bring those insights to our future actions we can change the world.

I am a sociologist / social psychologist / social worker by training, and have spent much of the past twenty-five years teaching critical social science and qualitative researtch methodology at various colleges, including the Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley campuses of the University of California, the Fielding Graduate University, and Ventura College.

I received my M.A and Ph.D. in Sociology / Social Psychology from UC-Santa Barbara. I have sought to re-conceptualize power and oppression in everyday social interactions and everyday cutural artifacts and have helped to create the subdiscipline of Critical Interactionism.

My academic publications are listed here:

I am an avid blogger. One blog is called "Doing Modernity: Using Critical Interactionism to Study Everyday Life". Find it here:

Another is called “Our Neighbors on the Streets: A Social Justice Perspective”. Find it here:

I am an active volunteer and community organizer and have been part of the leadership for the Freedom Warming Centers, Survival Santa Barbara, the Restorative Policing Team, Common Ground Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Homeless Foot Washing, the “Homeless in Santa Barbara” blog, and several community forums on homelessness and mental illness in our community.

These initiatives lead Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr and Santa Barbara City Councilmember Grant House to appoint me to the South Coast Homeless Advisory Committee of Santa Barbara.

I am also active as a board member for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and seek to mobilize local faith communities around issues of poverty and homelessness. I am an active member of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara since 2005.

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  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  2. Well Thank you very much Susan! :) Very nice to meet you and thanks for commenting - I love it when people take the time to comment..


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