SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - This past April, Kamryn Hall, a senior at C.K. McClatchy High School, organized and hosted a town hall event centered on homelessness as her senior project for the Humanities and International Studies Program (HISP). Representatives from the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, the City of Sacramento Mayor’s office, the Steinberg Institute and Wind Youth Services made up the panel.
The goal for this town hall was to educate and help youth who care about homelessness – and those experiencing homelessness – to learn more, and to help inspire others to take action and find ways to get involved in helping the cause.
Hall’s interest in homelessness is based on her observations of those living unsheltered in Sacramento. Knowing that homelessness is a big issue that has been declared a crisis, she felt that it was important to raise her classmates’ level of awareness and to get them interested in being a part of the solution.
This event was open to C.K. McClatchy students and staff, and the panel was made up of various community organizations who are working to assist homeless communities. Hall intentionally invited direct service providers and those responsible for developing homeless programs and policy.
“I set this up just for students so that it wasn’t political; it was just about education and asking questions,” said Hall. “I wanted people to be educated on the situation, and it made for a more relaxed atmosphere.”
Eduardo Ameneyro (pictured far right), Homeless Services Division Manager for the Department of Human Assistance, provided a unique perspective on behalf of his department’s core business as the administrator of welfare entitlement programs, as well as the division leading the Initiatives to Reduce Homelessness. “Homelessness is incredibly complex and cannot be completely resolved with housing. My team's work in each of the initiatives is highlighting the role generational poverty (and poverty in general) plays in homelessness.”
Meghan Marshall, Flexible Supportive Rehousing Manager for the Department of Human Assistance, was invited to attend this event. “The concern and compassion expressed by the students for those experiencing homelessness in our community was moving and brings me great hope,” said Marshall. “Getting youth involved and engaged in social welfare issues as early as possible is an investment in our future.”
One thing that surprised Hall and her fellow students were the unexpected factors that contribute to individuals experiencing homelessness, especially with regard to homeless youth who have fled abuse and other bad situations at home.
Hall’s town hall event helped change how both students and staff think about not just individuals experiencing homelessness, but about homelessness as a whole. A classmate approached Hall in her economics class to let her know the impact this event had on her. The classmate explained that a friend of hers was experiencing homelessness and, because of what she learned from the panelists, she took her to Wind Youth Services to receive medical attention and other services.
Check out the Responding to Homelessness in the County of Sacramento webpage to learn more about the Initiatives to Reduce Homelessness.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In 2018, Cake4Kids arrived in Sacramento, thanks to Mary Barnes’ efforts. Barnes is the Sacramento ambassador for the Sunnyvale-based nonprofit. She has grown her area volunteers into a force of nearly 100 strong. Two dozen gathered on August 3rd to celebrate the one year anniversary of the first cake delivery in Sacramento to Opening Doors.
Since that first delivery, Barnes and her volunteers have made 135 deliveries to more than two dozen agencies throughout the region. The group averages 2.5 deliveries per week, and Barnes said that volunteers are eager to bake more cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
“I’ve not found a lack of agencies to partner with,” said Barnes and explained that the process is long, especially since many nonprofits have limited staff.
She worked closely with Alison Bakewell, Director of Operations for Cake4Kids, to reach out to agencies by telephone or mail, and they both did a lot of follow up, often waiting to hear back for several months.
One of the agencies she contacted is Next Move Family Shelter. Javier Leon, the organization’s Children’s Services Coordinator, gave a short presentation to the volunteers.
“I try to make sure the children don’t miss out in development opportunities and having fun,” he wrote in an email. “Since February 2019, I have been able to get volunteer bakers from Cake4kids to bring cupcakes, one of the biggest highlights of each party! The children look forward to each batch of cupcakes because each volunteer baker adds their own special design on it. Once a volunteer baker made cupcakes with frosting shaped as flowers. Some kids didn’t want to eat it because they thought it was so beautiful. I’m very thankful Cake4kids exists to allow children experiencing homelessness to not miss out in having cupcakes at birthday parties.”
Leon’s statements echo those of other agencies since the purpose of Cake4Kids is to provide children with possibly the only birthday cake they have ever received. Many children are homeless, recent immigrants, in foster care, or victims of human trafficking.
Volunteer bakers are often challenged by requests for perhaps a vegan banana cake topped with vegan chocolate frosting, the request for the first cake delivered to Opening Doors on August 3rd, 2018.
The process to become a volunteer baker includes a mandatory orientation in order to learn more about Cake4Kids, including the demographics served, and resources. Orientations are held most months and are listed on the organization’s website. The next Sacramento orientation takes place in September.
Barnes, who is as dedicated to bringing cakes to at-risk children as she is to her full-time employment, said she spent an hour on her birthday meeting with representatives from Guardian Scholars Program at Sacramento State. The program serves transitional foster youth up to the age of 24 who are attending college, a program that Barnes called “amazing,” because few foster youth attend college.
Many, she added, don’t graduate from high school, but she learned that two who are being assisted by Guardian Scholars are pursuing master’s degrees.
To be able to meet face to face with agencies is one of Barnes’ goals. She has the opportunity to learn more about the organization, the population it serves, and express Cake4Kids’ gratitude for how each organization serves and supports the community.
“It really helps plant a strong relationship from the beginning,” said Barnes.
She has expanded the region from the first agency in Arden Arcade and volunteer bakers from Sacramento to agencies and volunteers in Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Carmichael, Roseville, and all of Sacramento. She is discussing future plans with agencies in Placer county.
“We can’t do it without our volunteers’ help,” she said, and that she’d like to work hand in hand with a volunteer in the future.
“Our volunteers are everywhere in the Sacramento region. They make my job much easier. They’re doing the weekly deliveries. I’m behind the scenes.”
Although volunteers bake the goodies, decorate them, and package them according to Cake4Kids’ guidelines, they never see the smiles of the children. It doesn’t seem to matter to them. They want to bake and bring the joy of a birthday treat to children.
“Another Cake4Kids celebration,” Barnes said, “is right around the corner.” On September 17th, the public and interested bakers are invited to attend an open house and information session.
One year ago, Barnes said her goal was to reach 100 volunteers, and she’s nearly accomplished that feat.
“I’m so appreciative of all the volunteers who have come forward. It was daunting to start this. I believed it and people showed up,” said Barnes, adding that she is indebted to the volunteers. For additional information, visit https://www.cake4kids.org/.
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Members of the media and public are invited to attend Inner SOUL, a silent art auction to benefit Joshua’s House, Sacramento’s first hospice house for the terminally ill homeless on August 10, at 5-8pm.
The Second Saturday art reception will feature a silent auction of over 90 pieces of art based on SHELTERS. All proceeds from the sale of donated artwork will go to completing the building of Joshua’s House, which has received strong support from community leaders such as Congresswoman Doris Matsui, City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Council Member Jeff Harris along with the entire City Council.
Area artists, along with Tony Natsoulas and Julia Didion, are invited to participate in this first of its kind art show here in Sacramento. Using the SHELTER as a symbol, we invite them to sculpt, paint, stitch and embellish. The results are a remarkable and beautiful art show.
Please join us for a special tribute art show to help bring awareness and raise funds for a critical new project here in Sacramento. The donated art will help open the doors to the new hospice house dedicated for the terminally ill homeless. This art show will be hosted at E Street Gallery, 1115 E Street, Sacramento. The art will be on display August 8-26 with a special reception on August 10th 5-9 pm where all artwork will be part of a silent auction
For more information about Joshua’s House, please email Dr. Marlene von Friederichs-Fitzwater at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in making a donation to Joshua’s House, search @JoshuasHouseSacramento on Facebook or visit www.thehcri.org.
For more information about the art show “inner SOUL” please call Helen Plenert at 916-599-2608 or email Helen@hplenert.com
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Breaking state contracting laws has once again caught-up with a Sacramento area offender who has a history of unlicensed contracting activity – he was caught for illegal contracting in a sting last year. The repeat offender was one of 13 cited in a sting last week in Gold River.
CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) coordinated the undercover operation in a single family home near Mather Airport on June 12-13. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and Rancho Cordova Police Department were partners in the sting.
CSLB investigators contacted alleged unlicensed contractors to bid on home improvement projects like painting the exterior of the home, masonry, electrical, and pouring concrete.
A total of 13 showed-up at the sting house to give estimates. They offered bids between $930 for electrical and $12,000 for pouring concrete – well over the legal threshold for contracting without a license.
In California, it’s illegal to bid over $500 on contracting jobs for both labor and materials combined (Business and Professions Code (BPC) §7028(a)). A first conviction penalty could result in fines of up to $5,000 and/or by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months.
One of those cited is a repeat offender. Jacob Daniel Cobb was caught in a Roseville sting March 2018. He pled no contest and was sentenced to three years of probation. If charged, second offences include a fine of $5,000, twenty percent of the contract price, or twenty percent of the aggregated payments (whichever is greater) and up to 90 days in county jail (BPC §7028(c)).
“Our goal is for any suspect who qualifies for a contractor’s license to get one,” said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. “When they get caught a second time, they’re showing they’d rather put homeowners at risk than follow the law. That’s why it’s critical for consumers to check for a contractor’s license before hiring anyone to work in or around their homes.”
Consumers can get license info by running an “Instant License Check” on CSLB’s website. They can also get a list of licensed contractors in their area by using the “Find My Licensed Contractor” feature to search for licensed contractors by city or ZIP code.
Twelve suspects may face a second misdemeanor charge for illegal advertising. Licensed contractors must display their license number in all advertisements and unlicensed contractors must state in all ads that they do not have a license (BPC § 7027.1). The penalty for violating the advertising rules for unlicensed contractors is a fine of $700 to $1,000.
One of the suspects did not carry workers' compensation insurance policies to cover those working for them (Labor Code § 3700.5). This case resulted in a "stop order" (a legal demand to cease all employee labor at a jobsite), as the unlicensed individual brought his hired help with him to the home.
Additionally, one suspect may also be charged with asking for an excessive down payment. (BPC §7159.5 (a)(3)(b)). The legal limit for a down payment is 10 percent of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less.
All suspects were ordered to appear on a future date at the Sacramento County Superior Court, 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
NOTE: All suspects are presumed innocent until their case is resolved.
For more information or a list of the offenders see www.cslb.ca.gov or www.CheckTheLicenseFirst.com
Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County is pleased to announce that funding for two proposed permanent supportive housing developments for persons experiencing homelessness has been awarded by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The No Place Like Home (NPLH) program funding, totaling nearly $13 million in new money for Sacramento, will provide permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and who are living with a serious mental illness.
Sacramento County’s successful applications in the State’s first competitive funding round were the result of a collaborative effort with the development sponsors, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, and the cities where the developments are located.
The two new housing facilities, Sunrise Pointe and Capitol Park Hotel, will result in 180 new housing units for persons experiencing homelessness, 87 of which will be dedicated for persons that also have a serious mental health illness and need services (designated NPLH units). Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services has committed to providing mental health treatment services to the designated NPLH units for a minimum of 20 years. “This is a priority for Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services. Investing in permanent, stable housing is critical for our consumers’ recovery,” said Ryan Quist, Ph.D., Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director.
Sunrise Pointe is a new construction project located at 7424 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights and consists of 47 one- two- and three-bedroom units. Of these, 22 will be designated NPLH units. All units will serve families and individuals experiencing homelessness. The site will be developed and operated by Jamboree Housing and Hope Cooperative (aka TLCS, Inc.) respectively.
“We are grateful for No Place Like Home funding to support this important project in the Citrus Heights community,” said Erin Johansen, Hope Cooperative executive director. “Sunrise Pointe is a collaboration between Hope Cooperative and Jamboree Housing that will provide 47-units of much-needed permanent, stable housing for individuals and families in need. Hope Cooperative will provide on-site Residential Service Coordinators who will work closely with residents in accessing a variety of resources including job training, budgeting and other needed services, as well as an on-site property manager. This project will help people live successfully in the community and is an essential step in ending the cycle of homelessness in the Sacramento region.”
“Jamboree has a long, rich history of effectively utilizing new state resources in order to create more affordable and supportive housing,” said Laura Archuleta, President and CEO of Jamboree Housing Corporation. “We are thrilled to have successfully partnered with Sacramento County and Hope Cooperative in securing more than $3 million from the new No Place Like Home program for the development of Sunrise Pointe. This funding will be instrumental in addressing the region’s affordable and supportive housing needs, and will positively transform and strengthen the Citrus Heights community for years to come.”
Capitol Park Hotel is a rehabilitation project located at 1125 9th Street in downtown Sacramento. This development will be an acquisition and rehabilitation of a historic building and will include 134 units for households experiencing homelessness. Of these, 65 will be designated NPLH units. The site will be developed and operated by Mercy Housing California (MHC).
“We are thrilled with the huge step the proposed permeant supportive housing at Capitol Park Hotel has taken this week with the award from HCD,” said Stephen Daues, Regional Director of Mercy Housing California. “We have a lot of work remaining, but this provides the momentum needed to secure the remaining funding.”
MHC is also the lead developer on another emerging project in Sacramento County, the remodeling and repurposing of the Courtyard Inn off Watt Avenue in North Highlands. They are transforming the once problem property into 92 new affordable housing units, including 14 workforce housing units and 78 permanent supportive housing units for special needs individuals and families. Of these, 15 units will be dedicated to people living with a serious mental illness and the Division of Behavioral Health Services has committed to providing mental health treatment services for a minimum of 20 years. The complete transformation of this highly visible site at the gateway to North Highlands will have an immediate and lasting improvement in the quality of life in the community.
“The Courtyard Inn transformation is well underway and only delayed by one month after enduring the heavy spring rains and the many surprises that come with striping the building down to the studs.” Daues says, “The rebuilding stage is now underway and handing over keys to the new apartment homes for 92 formerly homeless households is well within sight.”
For more information about what the County is doing to address homelessness, visit the “Responding to Homelessness” website.
Source: Sacramento County Media
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rebuilding Together Sacramento will discuss simple safety improvements to help increase seniors’ mobility and safety in their homes, and discuss their Safe at Home program.
Falls in the home are a serious health issue that is often preventable with simple lifestyle and home updates. The Safe at Home program is available to those of any income level. Trained volunteers improve accessibility and safety with simple items that can make a big difference. There is a need for affordable housing, particularly for older adults and those with disabilities. Homes need retrofits that support aging in place and this is an ever-growing concern.
This service is essential to seniors in Sacramento because:
“‘Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older persons,’ said Erik Listou, co-founder of the Living in Place Institute… ” Bliss, S. (Aug. 23, 2018). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://livinginplace.institute/images/wsj-3-pages.pdf;
“Aging in place has also been shown to have health and emotional benefits over institutional care… ” Evidence Matters (Fall 2013). Measuring the Costs and Savings of Aging in Place. Retrieved from https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/fall13/highlight2.html#title;
“Over three-fourths of professional remodelers undertake projects designed to allow homeowners to Age-in-Place... ” Emrath, Paul (May 8, 2019). Eye on Housing. Retrieved from http://eyeonhousing.org/2019/05/remodeling-to-age-in-place-remains-strong-still-mostly-for-older-homeowners/
Rebuilding Together Sacramento is seeking volunteers who want to improve the safety and independence of older adults and those with disabilities by installing safety items in their homes.
Rebuilding Together Sacramento (RTS) is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the Greater Sacramento area since 1991. RTS continues to expand its partnerships with others that are revitalizing neighborhoods, improving homes, preventing falls and reducing energy use.
More about the organization: http://rebuildingtogethersacramento.org/
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – Volunteers of America (VOA) is facing a funding shortfall that will permanently impact Mather Community Campus, the region’s most successful program to combat homelessness. This loss of funding is forcing VOA to cease critical components of the Mather program model which will significantly affect the program’s ability to help clients get off the streets and back on their feet.
Without immediate and ongoing support, Mather will no longer be able to operate at full capacity and will have to cease operations in one of the campus’ 13 residential buildings – a building that can house 90 individuals for up to one year in a transitional housing setting. That’s 90 people who are on the streets now, ready for change, but will have nowhere to go.
Loss of funding also strikes fatal blow to Mather’s Community Dining Hall/Culinary Training Kitchen: The Community Dining Hall will close; clients will no longer receive 3 hot meals daily at a shelter without kitchen facilities in resident quarters; The Culinary Training Kitchen program will close - clients will no longer receive valuable job training that prepares them for employment once they leave the shelter.
Since 1993, Mather Community Campus has helped more than 4,500 people forge their own path out of homelessness through an innovative, proven approach that combines transitional housing with a multitude of supportive services.
“We actually give people their life back. We help them recover the things they need to function in society like getting their driver’s license, opening a bank account, and working on credit repair or record expungement. Mather also helps with clothing, vocational training, and employment placement,” said Sherman Haggerty, Division Director, VOA Employment Services. “We provide the foundational tools people actually need to become a part of the community again. No other program does these things.”
Volunteers of America has created a webpage that details the budget deficit and impact more fully. Anyone wishing to learn more can visit www.savemather.com. Individuals and organizations who are interested in supporting Mather Community Campus should contact Christie Holderegger, VP/Chief Development Officer at (916) 213-4133 or donate online at www.voa-ncnn.org.