By Christo­pher Oak Reinier

The meet­ing was called to order… for­tu­nate­ly… as there was a frisky-ness, a toothy-ness, a wig­gly-ness amongst the natives. But all did get orga­nized and down to busi­ness, and –

Gam report­ed to the group about his work. He helps clients in the Sono­ma­Works pro­gram, clients who are receiv­ing wel­fare.  As a con­di­tion of that assis­tance they are required to search for and with­in 30 days find work or an avenue to work. Gam helps them find that work, and he report­ed that he has the high­est rate of place­ment of any­one doing this kind of work in the County.

The Empow­er­ment Cen­ter, rep­re­sent­ed at the meet­ing by Valerie, Cat, Miller, and Adria, has changed the hours and days it is open to Mon­day through Thurs­day, 11:30 to 4:30.  Mem­ber­ship is grow­ing and active par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­grams which the Cen­ter offers is increas­ing impres­sive­ly.  In the last quar­ter, 95 indi­vid­u­als made 846 vis­its to the Center.

The Senior Cen­ter has had a prob­lem on the days it dis­trib­utes food. Some recip­i­ents have been tak­ing more than their fair share.  A young per­son was hired from the Sum­mer Work-Expe­ri­ence pro­gram to help con­trol the dis­tri­b­u­tion of the food. And the prob­lem has been resolved.  A good exam­ple of one WCCS pro­gram help­ing another.

Phillip will be host­ing the annu­al Fam­i­ly Night Out Event in Guerneville.  It will be cen­tered at the Fife Creek Com­mons on Tues­day, August 1. Aside from encour­ag­ing neigh­bors to meet neigh­bors, it’s func­tion is to make the state­ment that fam­i­lies can enjoy the evening streets of the town with­out fear of neg­a­tive intrusions.

Dan­nielle and Paulette report­ed that WCCS’ tak­ing of respon­si­bil­i­ty for serv­ing the res­i­dents of Park Vil­lage in Sebastopol is mov­ing along as planned, despite some unfore­seen hitch­es, like weird plumb­ing prob­lems.  Paulette, the Senior Case Man­ag­er there, has estab­lished her office, has intro­duced some children’s play pro­grams, and has helped one of the res­i­dents obtain his State I.D. card.  It has already become appar­ent that res­i­dents appre­ci­ate that Brady, WCCS’ full time man­ag­er of the Park, can speak Spanish.

Jonathan, new to his job at coor­di­nat­ing youth pro­grams, is glad to be man­ag­ing the Youth Ecol­o­gy Corps group of 6 work­ers this sum­mer, as sev­er­al of them will be his clients dur­ing the com­ing school year.  He is get­ting to know them on a per­son­al basis, which would have been more dif­fi­cult otherwise.

And so it goes, and so much more, all try­ing to empow­er the less advan­taged among us one per­son at a time.