May 6, 2023
We are on property, and it is still raining. So, discouraging but the infrastructure is mostly complete, the small houses are on property and being finished, and the first bathroom-shower combination is on property as well. Still too much to do but it is starting to look like something.
We ran a successful warming station for four months and came in way under budget as to what other facilities are paying for similar services. Including the salaries for the project manager and program manager, the four months cost us 120K. The problem is that was the money I was saving to get the small home village up and running. I spent it expecting some of the grant money we have been awarded would have reached our bank account by now. We have received 375K from the County of Sonoma and 50K from the Catalyst Fund and Impact 100. None of that has been awarded yet. That leads to my problem as we presently have $1,991.83 in our bank account with payroll coming up at the end of the month which with all the cuts, I can make is still $8,100.
Let me tell you some of the good that came from running the warming center. We connected with 140 homeless individuals from the Sonoma City Area. We served 15-40 per day. We had 10-15 cars belonging to homeless people in our parking lot instead of parked in various neighborhoods. We enrolled another forty clients into the coordinated entry system which is the start of getting them housing. We got many clients the basics: id’s, ebt cards, medical, help with legal problems, visits to the DMV, medical help, and showers for the working homeless. We had the Redwood Gospel Mission shower van arrive in the late afternoon, once a week, so all could shower. We had the Mobile Medical van at least once a week to connect people to medical services. We got 3 clients with diabetes stabilized. Many of what we did cut down crime in the Sonoma City Area, use of the emergency room, use of police services and cut the cost of arrests and jail usage. The best part is that we have contacted 140 of the homeless in this area and can continue to collaborate with them on housing. The statistics were interesting. Approx: 67% male, 14% female, 27% Hispanic. 45% work at least part-time, many work full-time (approx. 12%) Everyone needs mental health help, and most have some medical condition needing treatment. We were able to do three interviews with the 20 who are going into the Home and Safe Village and most of them have gotten the basis done. (ebt, medical, id.)
Client ZJ has been hospitalized for a very serious infection. JG and OG have been hospitalized for heart disease and diabetes, GM has been hospitalized for various neurological issues, MS, MC, FM, CG, AG, GG, CF, have had dental work, JS is in rehab, DC, AG, GM, have all gotten housing vouchers, CA, JM, RM, HS, SQ, are working for HAS, CA, JG, AW, DF, are all disabled and we are helping them through the SSD process, CY is in trade school and housed, there is a crew which is on property working made up of clients, and so many have hope. And yes, it is not all good. Three clients are presently in jail, and two more are out on bail, one with new teeth was in an altercation and has his jaw broken, another was in an automobile accident and will not be walking for quite awhile. We are in contact and helping where we can, they are no longer alone. To get on property and have a real office, and real location for people to go to will be amazing. We have had these 4 months to know that what we are doing: EDUCATE, INTEGRATE, INNOVATE, AND CREATE, works.
There are grant writers working for us to apply for County and State funding. We have volunteers applying for local grants. In total we have received 775K from the County, privately we have raised over 1 million and have a 2 million $ loan. To date the construction has cost 2 million for all the infrastructure, permits, houses, and furnishings. We have spent, since conception, approx.: 800K in operations expenses which include a staff of 2 caseworkers, 3 outreach workers, administrator, Program Developer, Project Manager, site manager, 2 site monitors and office space. Although we did not have to pay for the facility for the warming station, there were the cost of utilities, garbage, fencing, and sewage issues. Much of the maintenance was managed by the clients, which was a great savings. The homeless are incredibly capable of fixing things without needing lots of tools and money, for which I am very grateful.
So, drive by the site, look at the village in its pretty colors and if you would like a tour give me a call and I would be happy to arrange one. As a community I have been incredibly grateful for the contributions from so many of you which have cut costs considerably. So many individuals and businesses have donated clothing, food, and other useful products. (i.e., toilet paper). Most of all we are grateful for those of you who have donated your time and expertise. Someday I will have time to make a proper list and include all for publication.
So, for those of you who had doubts that we would actually get on property and told me you would be inclined to donate when we are: now is the time we could really use a bit of a boost.
Thank you so much,
Annie Falandes and the homeless of the Sonoma City Area
As a community we can end homelessness.
THE HASS NEWSLETTER
Check in for updates regularly