Thank you so much for your continued support. Who would have thought? The Village has been open for almost 4 months and a lot has changed. It is really a village with the tenants taking charge, relearning to make decisions as a family. They have elected mayors to take care of the chores and small issues. I am thrilled not to have to mediate small things like who isn’t picking up their dog poop!
Now amazing things are happening. Before we opened in June, we got one client into Permanent Supportive Housing through the Coordinated Entry Process. This has grown beyond our initial expectations! This is where they get their own apartment but there is someone to look in on them every day. So that is 1. We had another client at this time get a voucher and he found housing on his own using the voucher through Coordinated Entry +1=2. We had another client in the process to get Permanent Supportive Housing and about a week after he moved into the Village he got housed. +1=3. We then had 2 move out because they did not want to work the program, sad. Another client got a voucher through Section 8 +1=4. Another client we have been helping, not in the Village, was able to save enough to get himself a room. +1=5. Doing our homework we found that Siesta Way was about to open so we went through our list of 156 clients and everyone who had the right age and income we helped them fill out the application, got them the papers they needed for the process, paid the application fees and let’s see, this week I know that 12 have been accepted, +12=17 The family of four we had been working with for months finally were housed here in Sonoma through a Coordinated Entry Voucher +4=21. My young boy who we put in rehab is now housed in a Sober Living Facility and has a job. +1 =22. We are now the only case workers in the Valley so we can refer to LG Village and presently have 4 people who just must finish the paperwork and they will be sheltered at LG. So, yes bragging, but not bad for the first 4 months.
In all seriousness the program works. Treat people with respect and give them hope and they will rise to it. Treat them like lesser, lock them in and don’t expect them to be trustworthy, then I believe it is human nature to act as treated. Right now, I am sitting in my office just to make sure it stays quiet because Baker and Cook is having a fancy dinner evening, and I don’t want anything to mar their dining event. I have asked everyone to stay away from Baker and Cook, no noise, no dogs, no smoke, and it is lovely. We are working as a team.
We have a man here who has been camping by the creek for the last 5 years. He is a hoarder so even with that in mind you can’t imagine what a mess it was. We tried to go with the Ecology Center to clean it up and the camper was very disturbed that we were going to throw all his stuff away even though he had moved into the village. He had a bit of a breakdown, so Ecology Center left, and we all regrouped. I talked to the Village telling them he was having a tough time and needed support and we gave him more time to get used to the idea he was going to have to give up his camp. Two days later he came to me and said he was ready and thanked me for giving him time and told me the Village was so supportive that he thinks he can be happy here and we can clear the camp. It took us a week to bag and haul all his stuff away. Hanna Center was happy to have it gone and paid the dump fees for us. We had volunteers from the Village and homeless community do the cleanup. What a wonderful effort.
It hasn’t all been roses. We have had issues. We have had to ban a few people who were coming in off the streets and causing trouble. It is getting cold, and people want help, but to come in here drunk or high just doesn’t work with a community trying to be sober. We are not always successful with sobriety but in four months there will be a lot less abuse with our clients. AA is being well attended. A few of the community that do not drink are attending AA because it is fun. Go figure.
The programs, thanks to Ted Nordquist, are going well. Most of the clients are about finished with Stage 2 of the Village program.
Right now, most of the people who we are housing don’t need job training, or career counseling. As they move on, we will continue working with them in their new homes. Right now, it is mostly trips to medical facilities. Anyone wants to volunteer to give rides we could sure use the help.
It is fun as well. We have gotten tickets from Transcendence, from the Community Center, from the Sebastiani Theatre, we are forming agreements with the gyms to take clients. We are planning classes, in yoga, dowsing, arts, and maybe even dance. We are talking about a walking group.
My friendly tenant Linda goes walking around the neighborhood picking up trash. The neighbors are now greeting her and saying thank you.
Our biggest problem is we just can’t seem to get the construction finished. The bathrooms/laundry/showers are close to finished. That will be wonderful to remove the porta potties once and for all. We still must connect to the main sewage and water lines which means tearing up the street which means coordinating with Caltrans. All complicated. We have been given a date of November 18th to be completed. Hopefully we can have a huge holiday open house and I can finally show off our beautiful Village.
Thank you so much for your continued support. I know the article in the paper makes it seem like we are financially in a world of hurt. Yes, it hurts, but not enough to not press on. You have kept us afloat and moving forward. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
One of my clients just came in and gave me $50.00. He said thank you. Wow. He is a little old guy on SS.
Thank you one and all,
THE HASS NEWSLETTER
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