February 2022 Homeless Action Sonoma Newsletter
1St: Unfortunately the shelters are not yet installed. The hang up is all the permits needed through the County planning commission. They have been wonderfully helpful and working with us as hard as possible. Susan Gorin has been right there to answer every question, as has the members of the CDC, coordinated entry, and the numerous people in the permits and planning department that we are bothering every day. It may not be moving as fast as we would like but everyone is working hard to get everything completed properly.
2nd: Almost all clients are ready to be entered into the HMIS system which is required per the grant we received. We have hired Kathline Caauwe from Catholic Charities to oversee the submission of this accumulated data to the County as it is critical to have less than 5% error. So happy to be able to hire her.
3rd: Most of the small homes, are finished. They are being built on property on Napa Road so that when we finally get the green light from the County we can quickly move them, and they can be occupied immediately
4th: We got extended vouchers for hotels for another month so our people are not out in the cold. That is a bit of relief for me as I had sworn I would go outside with them this winter if I could not get them shelter. Whee!!.
5th: Allison Davis is creating a data base for us: much needed. Madeline Whittaker has been our tireless volunteer handing out brochures on an almost daily basis, and Sabina Cesear is now joining her. Thank you ladies, it is not an easy job. One result is that a young woman fleeing from domestic violence with her 6 year old son found a brochure in the library and called me for help. I was able to hook her up with Verity and they gave her two nights in a hotel as it was Saturday and the shelters don’t take clients on weekends. They then got her into a shelter and are putting her in touch with all services. Hopefully this has given her the support she needs to break an ugly cycle.
6th: We have been working with the VFW posts to insure veterans get sheltered and are working to get a memorandum of understanding with them.
8th: We have contracted with Micahs Hugs, a nonprofit, that works in harm reduction, and will be doing training in fentanyl strip testing and Narcan administration to prevent deaths due to drug overdose.
Volunteers and Donations: There have been so many volunteers dropping off donations, sending in needed money, and helping with the Sunday night dinners. You are a huge blessing to all. If you drop off donations please leave a note with the donation so I can send you a Thank You Note! They are very much appreciated.
How Can you Help?
Needed: Men’s pants and shoes and condoms.
Sunday Dinners: Every Sunday is like Christmas with the donations from individuals and the Democrats Club. . Chefs and servers are always welcomed. I want to thank our guest chefs Beth Bierman, Pat Coleman and Rick Suerth, great chili and wonderful jambalaya. This Sunday is roast chicken with beans and rice. The guest chefs have signed on for one Sunday a month but that means we have at least 3 other Sundays to
BeFriend: This program involves a housed person befriending an unhoused person and is amazingly rewarding. Joe and Simon Cutler have taken on restoring Chances truck. You should see the smile on that young man’s face. He is working hard studying to get his driver’s license and has been picking up jobs to save money for registration and insurance. Looking to the future. Thank you Joe and Simon.
Ted Nordquist is tutoring his friend who has a reading disability. Mary Courtney has donated hearing aids and Johns friend is bringing him to get them fitted. Thank you Mary. It will change Johns life.
If you are interesting in BeFriending please contact me.
Sonoma Professionals: Dr. Gary Toig is volunteering some of his services and he has already helped one client, a young lady who had never been to a gynecologist and was terrified. Dr. Toig was able to help her with her issues.
Dentist, Dr. Thomas Halliday, has signed on to help and Dr. Forstadt has offered to help a second client. Dr. Groef is on his third client. It is so heartwarming to see the community coming together. These donated services are rewarding for both client and professional.
Do you have a professional service can you offer / donate?
Speaking Engagements: I am always looking for opportunities to talk to the community about homeless and ways to help. Ken Brown invited me to be on his radio show. Thank you Ken. I have been invited to be on the Contribution Revolution Podcast. I talked to the Sonoma Human Rights Group, the Sonoma Valley Housing Group, and the Sonoma Valley Collaborative. With education comes understanding.
And of Course we need Money: We need to hire an architect, structural engineer, electrical engineer, soils engineer, mechanical engineer, landscape architect, and so many more. We have raised about half of the 100K challenge grant. Thank you all. If everyone on this list gives just $150. we can keep all of the 100K. Please help.
In Closing: Finally I wish to thank all of you who have contributed. It is so heartwarming to know so many in the community have compassion and are willing to share your good fortune. We will end homelessness, make the movie and franchise the concept. Thank you.
Homeless Action Sonoma, Inc.