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.