Pic of Paulette cleaning a mobile home unit for the homeless

Paulette preps a mobile home unit for the home­less

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier

Since July of 2017, West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices (WCCS) has begun plac­ing a total of eight mobile liv­ing units for home­less fam­i­lies and indi­vid­u­als in Park Vil­lage in Sebastopol. To date, two home­less fam­i­lies and two home­less per­sons have been placed in four of the new­ly added liv­ing units in the Park.

Paulette Hall, WCCS case man­ag­er at Park Vil­lage, has been work­ing since June this year to pre­pare the Park for the new res­i­dents and to help them set­tle into the Park. Paulette and Dan­nielle Dan­forth, WCCS Direc­tor of Hous­ing, vis­it­ed church­es and food dona­tion loca­tions for ref­er­ences and to inform home­less indi­vid­u­als of the hous­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty. With the help of the Police Depart­ment, inter­est­ed indi­vid­u­als were vet­ted to assure that they had no record of crim­i­nal felonies or vio­lent and dis­or­der­ly behav­ior, includ­ing no records of drug abuse, alco­hol, and sex­u­al mis­con­duct.

pic of Tim Miller placing a new living unit for the homeless

Tim Miller helps to place a new liv­ing unit for the home­less

Res­i­dents of Park Vil­lage can­not pos­sess or use ille­gal drugs. There is no smok­ing in pub­lic spaces, and no smok­ing, includ­ing mar­i­jua­na smok­ing, in WCCS liv­ing units, and no dis­turb­ing of neigh­bors.  Vio­la­tion of the rules can lead to expul­sion from the liv­ing unit. Paulette is find­ing, as most home­less hous­ing case-man­agers find, that there is a learn­ing curve for the home­less, lessons to learn in how to live with oth­ers.  She is opti­mistic about how it is work­ing. The new res­i­dents appre­ci­ate hav­ing a safe home. And Paulette’s help­ful hand.

Paulette also pro­vides sup­port­ive ser­vices to all of the 65 or so very low-income res­i­dents of Park Vil­lage. If they are in need and are inter­est­ed, she can avail them of employ­ment train­ing, youth ser­vices, behav­ioral health coun­sel­ing, and the many ser­vices offered to low-income elder­ly cit­i­zens by West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices. She has already involved 16 of the res­i­dent chil­dren in week­ly activ­i­ties.

WCCS will use its broad range of human ser­vices and part­ner­ships to increas­ing­ly inte­grate the park and its res­i­dents into the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty. The home­less project is a joint ven­ture between WCCS, the City of Sebastopol, and the Group of Advo­cates, a vol­un­tary orga­ni­za­tion con­cerned about the home­less.