By Christopher Oak Reinier
The staff of the West County Community Services met together last week to share with each other what they are doing and the goals toward which they are collectively working. Among the many topics for April:
Dannielle reported on the closure of the Winter Emergency Center for the Homeless. The Center, located in the Guerneville Veterans Building, served as many as 150 individual through the four months of rain. The average attendance was about 30 each night. She felt she could not express well enough her appreciation for her staff, many of whom once needed the kind of help they were now providing for others. She is grateful too for the help from St. Josephs and the West County Medical Center, making available some additional, possibly life-saving services.
The Agency has sent out notices requesting donations of those no-more-used RVs or Travel Trailers you or a friend of yours could donate. The RV or Trailer would be placed at one of the 5 remaining mobile-unit sites made available to WCCS for homeless housing at the Village Mobile Home Park in Sebastopol. Eight sites were made available. Dannielle reported 3 RVs have already been donated. Need 5 more. The donation would be a full-value charitable write-off.
The Empowerment Center, Valerie reported, has received a boost of energy from some new very helpful volunteers, and the addition of Miller Phoenix to the staff. She brings considerable talent as an artist, as well as a big compassionate spirit. She is promoting art projects with members and visitors, cooking, and helping with “Clean Day.” After only a couple months, she’s been adopted.
David, Director of Finances, and all-around good vibes, could have the crazed look of a finance director preparing next year’s budget. But he pulls it off with such aplomb, we are seldom bothered by the familiarity he experiences between the need for funding and the question-marks about its availability.
Jennifer has successfully found jobs for three more individuals. Placed them on the staff of a restaurant, in Safeway, and in a wine-shipping shop. Solving a larger societal problem one person at a time.
Emily reports a new “Spanish” class at the Senior Center, and don’t miss “National Lost Socks Day” at the Center on Tuesday, May 9. Don’t miss it! Who knows what might be found?
Melissa is developing a Senior support group in Rohnert Park. She’s working with a clientele now of 110 individuals.
Phillip is taking over supportive services for the newly opened Cherry Street House. The Cherry Street House provides housing for three more potentially homeless persons. Solving it one person at a time.
Tim, Executive Director, leads with an encouraging spirit in the crowded conditions of the temporary offices – no one knows when the old offices will be ready to open again at the Bank of America building. And the work goes care-fully on.