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.pic of travel trailer

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.