By Christopher Oak Reinier
At the June all-staff meeting, Jeannette Parros introduced herself to the staff. She is the new Senior Case Manager at the Russian River Senior Center. “I see myself as one assisting some good people who just need a little help along their way.” Paulette Hall has been introducing Jeannette to her clients, as Paulette leaves to become Senior Case Manager at Park Village in Sebastopol.
The WCCS project at Park Village is overseen by Dannielle Danforth, WCCS Director of Housing. She reported that Brady Osborn has been appointed the Property Manager there. WCCS will be offering its services to about 60 low-income residents in 17 existing living units and it will be developing eight more residential units to accommodate presently homeless families. Paulette’s focus there will be to create a sense of community among the residents.
Laura is promoting the Pig and Pie event, to happen on Saturday, July 15. Local celebs will judge the pies. WCCS’ good friend, Daryl Bushgen, will be serving up his legendary BBQ’d ribs. Each WCCS Department will have a carnival type game at a booth that will help to inform what sevices the department provides. Laura is hoping to have a dunk tank at the event. We’ll see.
Valerie Belotte, Manager of the Empowerment Center, with Miller Pheonix and Adria Fournel, reported on increased membership and revitalized energy that has 20 to 30 individuals a day working in the garden, doing art projects, attending therapy groups, cooking, making music, working on computers, and just hanging out together. They are putting an increased emphasis on going beyond “just surviving” to improving the member’s quality of life. “People’s lives are changing.”
Jennifer Hervey and Gam Caldwell continue finding work for “employment challenged” clients. Each success is celebrated. Melissa’s Senior Peer Counseling program continues its excellent work. Youth programs are shifting from school to summer activities.
Executive Director, Tim Miller, has been meeting with county leaders of community services, who have come to Guerneville to see what and how WCCS is doing. Empowering people one person at a time.