Oh, what a month it has been. We had the BEST of Christmas Presents. Dave Jefferson who owns the property that once was the Community Café has allowed us to use the office space in the back for a Warming Station/Navigation Center until our Home and Safe Village is built on Hwy 12. We are at least another month behind. The construction crew got COVID and then the trenches flooded and had to be pumped. We are still working away but missed the Christmas deadline……. yet again.
But we are open and operating at 867 West Napa with our Navigation Center/Warming station. Our clients have a place to go to work with the case workers as well as get out of the rain, take yoga classes, read, watch movies, get medical help. It is fabulous due to the work of my “elves”. Special thanks to all who worked to get us up and running starting with Sandra Lowe, Lisa Janson, Wayne Wirick, Doug Fryday, Dave Hall, and Trevor Smith who got us through the permit process in record time. Then the cleaners, Maria Colin, Amber Gill, Jessica Mansfield, came in and washed the place down from ceiling to floor. Now we needed furniture, and our Angel Carol Latimer came in and furnished and decorated the entire facility. It is lovely with a caseworker’s room, a meeting room, 2 meditation/treatment rooms, and a recreation room. We have a store and I even have an office. Carol, you are fabulous. Sierra Nadeau, Jerry Klenow, Marion Weinreb, Rabbi Steve Finley, Faye Mellos, Bonnie Brown, Jessica Mansfield, and Hector Gutierrez also contributed furnishing, signage, and supplies that we needed. Scott Braun and crew cleaned the entire outside as well as installed lighting and fencing. Then we have our procurement genius Patrick Favale who got us fire regulation ship shape, WIFI installed, and put up with me asking WHEN? Hector, our operations manager has been working overtime to obtain enough staff and get them trained, develop operating procedures, talk to the neighbors, and still manage to find time to collect more items. I love our staff, they are talented, know their stuff and willing to take on this adventure to end homelessness. I have always said it will take community support to end homelessness and we are starting to feel that support. Thank you all who have donated both with time, goods, and financially.
We are so happy to have a place to work with the clients, so they don’t waste any more time because we are not on property to work with them. Concentrating on basics such as id’s, EBT cards, Medical, and getting them all scheduled for a physical to establish a baseline health record.
We welcome new board members. Jerry Klenow, Gustav Gustavsson, Rebecca Rogoway, Osias Encarnacion, and Petra Longley. They are amazingly talented and very willing to jump in and get to work. Truly blessed as they just appeared when we needed them and have the talents that we were weak in previously.
The Sunday dinners at La Luz are holding steady at about 40 meals served. We would love to see more community show up. Friends are being made and the food is always wonderful. People take turns cooking and serving and eating. Come by 5 PM any Sunday for dinner with us. Really quite fun. If you care to take a turn cooking call Ted Nordquist to get on schedule 707 235-3986.
We are working with the County and BJ Bischoff to obtain Grants as well as local community grants. We will again be applying for Homekey Money from the state when it becomes available in the spring. That would allow us to start on the permanent facility which will replace the Home and Safe Village eventually
We have scheduled and cancelled the community painting of the Small Houses several times. Not ready for paint, rain, cold, COVID………………. all the usual. Stay tuned, we will get them painted in the colors of the Springs!
Busy as a one-armed paper hanger these days, hanging at the new Navigation Center/Warming Station. It just feels so good. Now we must figure out how to pay for it. We have enough money for about 3 months. Most of the costs are for staff and services. We are only paying for utilities and garbage. THANK YOU, DAVE JEFFERSON!!! Our costs are about 26K which include the operation expenses, 3 caseworkers, 3 monitors, operations manager, the administration office at 275 East Napa Street, and Valli, who keeps us all in touch. Many of the board members and volunteers have offered to take shifts to help keep the costs down.
What do we need?
With sincere gratitude,
HOMELESS ACTION SONOMA, INC. FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
HOMELESS ACTION SONOMA, INC.
P.O Box 482 Sonoma, CA 95476