A Housing Success Story Featuring Diane

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“Following her incarceration, Diane, a mother of two, was enrolled with our Opening Doors to Housing and Wellness program in May of 2020 following her time with MLK Residential where she successfully graduated and transitioned into WestCare’s Recovery Residence for women and mothers, Liberty Plaza. Around this time, she began receiving services from the Day Reporting Center and Opening Doors where we began linking her to community resources such as HIV services and virtual NA/AA groups. Diane was appreciative of us providing her with gas cards and a welcome/cleaning kit for her new apartment when she was housed this past September.

She went on to refer her boyfriend, Christian, who graduated from MLK the same time as her and entered into our McKinney Plaza Recovery Residence for men not long after. The two are currently housed together, doing well and as of mid-December, are expecting a child of their own! Congratulations to you both on your recovery, housing and journey of parenthood that lies ahead!

A journey like Diane’s speaks to the potential in everyone. With the proper motivation, lives change. The next time that you think something is impossible, remember Diane’s story!” – The Staff of Opening Doors to Housing and Wellness/WestCare California, Inc.

Diane’s Recovery Timeline:

– 2019: Incarcerated

– 4/2020: Graduates from MLK Residential

– 5/2020: Enrolls in Opening Doors

– 6/2020: Begins attending AA/NA groups

– 9/2020: Moves into stable housing

– 2021: Sober, housed and expecting

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

WestCare California, Inc. Receives $2.5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant To Help End Homelessness

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On December 9th, 2020, WestCare California, Inc., a behavioral health and human services organization that provides assistance in the areas of housing opportunities, mental health and wellness, Veterans services, criminal justice services, education and prevention as well as treatment and rehabilitation, announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

“Our organization prides itself in the impact that we have made, with the support of the other agencies in our community, to successfully transition the men, women and families that we serve from a state of homelessness to one of dignity, confidence and security. With the generous support that we have received from the Day 1 Families Fund, we will assist even more families in obtaining housing. On behalf of our staff and those that we serve, thank you for joining us in Uplifting the Human Spirit!” said Shawn Jenkins, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of WestCare Foundation’s Western Region.

This one-time grant, awarded to organizations doing meaningful work to connect families with shelter and support, will allow WestCare California to continue to secure permanent, supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, as well as provide wraparound services to help them maintain their independence.

WestCare California is one of 42 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the third annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a continuing commitment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness for families. The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $105.9 million in grants this year. To select these organizations, the fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and leaders whose expertise spans housing justice, racial equity, direct services, homelessness policy, equity for Native American communities and anti-poverty work.

Through the generosity of the Bezos Day One Fund, we will be able to continue to house and assist more Central Valley families like Akisha’s. This is her story:

“Akisha enrolled at WestCare California’s Home Sweet Home rapid rehousing program in September of 2019. In her initial meeting, our Case Manager learned that her Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was ending and her CalFresh and CalWorks benefits were deactivated. She expressed feelings of frustration and later as we built a relationship, her Case Manger learned she was going through grief and her emotional and mental health desperately needed support.

Step by step, as we set her goals and in a matter of four months, Akisha worked hard and was able to reenroll in her public benefits, gain more income, achieve Section 8 residency and enroll in mental health services.

In late October 2020, she moved out with her daughter, Shairone, into permanent housing, renewed her guard card and is in the process of looking for employment. Shairone is graduating high school early and is already applying to colleges and universities with an interest in pursuing a degree in the medical field!

Through hard work and no matter how tough things became, Akisha never stopped trying and the results of her perseverance are a testament to her accomplishments!”

The Bezos Day One Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: No child sleeps outside. For more information and the full list of recipients, please visit: www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund


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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

A Success Story by Ronald C. (SUDT Program Graduate at Sierra Conservation Center)

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We’d like to share a success story by Ronald, a graduate of our Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUDT) program and former inmate at the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC). With our SCC contract changing to a new provider at the end of April, we’d also like to use this moment to send a very special thank you to the wonderful WestCare California, Inc. staff and leadership at SCC for their many inspiring submissions over the years! Thank you all for Uplifting The Human Spirit through your tireless service to our in-custody program participants!

Ronald Quote (1)

“Hello,

My name is Ronald C. I paroled from CDCR in Jamestown on September 05, 2018.

On August 20, 2014, I made a decision to turn away from my drug using and criminal behavior and turned all my energy from negative to positive. I knew I needed help and I knew I could find that help within CDCR. I was transferred to the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, which had a Substance Abuse Program (SAP).

I was accepted in the SAP there and completed the 6 month Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUD) program, yet I was wanting more. Later, I was accepted in the first Long Term Offenders Program (LTOP) that catered toward life-term inmates. With these two programs, I was able to identify warning signs that could possibly lead me down a road to negative behavior. The program allowed me to see who I was when I made decisions in my life and who I am today. I learned the difference between remorse and regret and what being responsible for ones actions is all about.

My recovery is not just a matter of abstaining from drugs or criminal behavior. It’s much, much more than that. I maintain my recovery by staying connected to what kept me sober and criminally free. I am encouraged and held accountable for any negative behavior and continue to establish and accomplish new goals.

Today, I surround myself with positive and sober people. I work a full-time clock-punching job for a commercial plumbing company in Riverside, California, make $22.00 an hour and work at least 40 hours a week. I attend AA meetings 2-3 times a week and volunteer at the local Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Program. I sponsor anywhere from 6-8 men there and on Friday nights, I facilitate a Relapse Prevention class to the Beneficiaries at the Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Lastly and mainly, I do not forget where I came from. I owe a great deal of my success and the man I am today to the counselors in that trailer at the Sierra Conservation Center.

Respectfully submitted to whom it may concern or give hope to.”

Sincerely,

Ronald C.

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

FMCoC FY2019 HUD NOFA Collaborative Application and Priority Listing for Public Posting

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The document linked below includes all parts of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care Consolidated Application, including the CoC Application attachments and the Priority Listing with reallocation forms.

FMCoC FY2019 HUD NOFA Collaborative Application and Priority Listing for Public Posting

A Veteran’s Story: Dustin (Renaissance at Parc Grove)

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Dustin SJVV Quote

We’d like to share a piece about one of the Veterans that we proudly serve, Dustin, a tenant at Renaissance at Parc Grove, an affordable housing complex with 40 units for Veterans and their families, specifically Veterans with or without a disability who are experiencing homelessness.

Dustin, Renaissance Testimonial - Picture

“Dustin has led an eclectic and exciting life. He is always busy doing something and he is consistently working on ways to better himself. This doesn’t surprise me though because he is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Dustin enlisted in the USMC in 1964 and was a part of the 26 Marines, 5th Marine Division when the United States joined the conflict in Vietnam. He served for four years which concluded in 1968 with an honorable discharge. He then attended Delta College and received an AA in social studies and later spent time at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he majored in film. He supported himself as a factory worker, but then soon turned his sights towards an adventure in Los Angeles.

While living in Los Angeles, Dustin began to work in the entertainment industry. While working as a liaison between musicians and a musical equipment manufacturer, he was able to work with artists such as Bette Midler and Billy Thorpe. He even received a screen credit for Bette Midler’s film, ‘Divine Madness,’ as well as several album credits including one on Billy Thorpe’s second album released in the U.S. Dustin also spent time performing product placement in movies. Soon after leaving the entertainment business, he began his writing career and wrote nine political satire columns for the ‘Sierra Journal.’

It was in 1969 when Dustin tried ‘pot’ for the first time and soon after, he began growing it. In 1996, he started growing it for medicinal purposes. In 1999, he was charged and arrested, but then released as part of the Prop 36 program. After that, he applied for and was granted permission to cultivate in Modesto. When Dustin moved to Merced to purchase a 20 acre farm to continue his medical marijuana efforts, he informed the local health department, his Supervisor and the County CEO. However, he did not inform the Sheriff. Subsequently, he was arrested and the case went to the Federal level. In his words, when he went to trial, he simply had no defense. He was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years for possession of marijuana and five years for having a shotgun.

Dustin spent 19 months at the Fresno County Jail as his case was decided and was then transferred to Big Spring, Texas to a low security federal prison for the next three and a half years. He then spent five and a half years at a minimum security camp in Colorado.  His last two years were spent at the camp in Lompoc, CA followed by his release to a halfway house in Fresno. Instead of spending his time complaining about the position he was in, he turned incarceration into opportunity. He used this time to write and publish his novel, ‘Squirrel Days,’ (which you can purchase on Amazon) and played in numerous prison bands. Dustin was always moving forward, taking advantage of the day by doing something that would help him with his tomorrow. 

Upon his arrival to Fresno, he began working with San Joaquin Valley Veterans (SJVV) and living at a halfway house. With their assistance, he was able to return to school and update his computer skills. He then obtained his California driver’s license and on his first day out, he began to tackle his credit so that he could purchase a car for his future plans – driving for Uber. He attended all of the classes that SJVV had to offer and found out about a new Veterans housing project, Renaissance at Parc Grove. With the help of his SJVV Veteran Advocate, he applied for a unit there and was accepted! He rented his first apartment since prison in June of 2018. However, he was still technically incarcerated. He needed to complete his time in the halfway house first before he could physically move into Renaissance. When all the other Veterans were moving in on the facility’s opening day, Dustin was only able to pay rent on his unit until his release date in September. When his release date came, he was finally was able to walk through the doors of his new apartment.

Dustin is an exemplary tenant and he is always on the go to keep pushing forward. He is a role model for the other residents of how an individual can change their life under any circumstances. Now, after all that he has experienced, he has aspirations of running a private halfway house. This would enable him to draw on his past – both the bad and the good and use it to help others turn their lives around as well. He also wants to keep driving for Uber because he loves meeting the people and hearing just a little bit of their story. He calls it ‘Social media for drivers.’

While creating this piece, Dustin told me, ‘With a little luck, some planning on my part, Fresno Adult School and the consistent support and encouragement from all of the staff at SJVV, I have been able to put my life back together.’ I am sure Dustin will move on from Parc Grove someday as he would like to retire in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. 

Dustin has come a long way from his service in the the USMC to Hollywood to his stint in ‘agriculture,’ which led him to a 15 year Federal Prison sentence. In my time working with him, I have never heard him blame anyone for his difficulties – in fact, he doesn’t speak negatively about his past at all. He took responsibility for his life’s course and remains faithful to the goals and dreams that he has set for himself – and I truly believe that he will achieve all of them! After all, the USMC motto is, ‘Semper Fidelis,’ which means, ‘Always Faithful.'”

 Kelli Bouscher, M.A.,                                                                                                                 Supportive Services Case Manager/ Linkage Specialist                                                           WestCare California, Inc./San Joaquin Valley Veterans: Renaissance at Parc Grove

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

2019 FMCoC NOFA TA Workshop Recap and Materials for Applicants

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“On Friday, July 19th, The Fresno-Madera CoC held an informational Technical Assistance (TA) Workshop for the 2019 CoC NOFA. This workshop provided attendees with an overview of the local application process, as well as instructions for completing the local project applications. The materials from the TA workshop, including the local competition materials and scoring tools are available here.


Renewal Project Applicants: please begin your project applications in e-snaps. Renewal project applications are due in e-snaps on August 12th by 3pm. 

New Project Applicants: answers to the supplemental questions for the local competition are due in PRESTO by Thursday, August 8th at 3pm. New project applications (including budgets, the submission checklist and supporting materials) are due in e-snaps on August 12th by 3pm.

 

If you have a specialized need and would like to receive this information or any of the TA workshop materials in another format, pleases contact fmcoc@homebaseccc.org.”

 

If you missed the attachments in the recap, please see below.

TA Workshop Materials: Click Here

Supplemental Questions for New Project Applicants: Click Here

2019 HUD FMCoC Funding Application Notice

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2019 FMCoC NOFA Summary

2019 FMCoC NOFA Summary – PDF Attachment

2019 FMCoC Public Solicitation for HUD Funding Application

FY2019 FMCoC Public Solicitation – PDF Attachment

July 12, 2019

Dear Housing and Services Providers in Fresno and Madera Counties:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Fiscal Year 2019 Continuum of Care Program Competition was released on July 3, 2019. The Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care (FMCoC) is eligible to apply for $10,982,749 in new and renewal funding for housing and service programs for people experiencing homelessness, plus an additional $784,305 earmarked for programs serving survivors of domestic violence.

FMCoC encourages all local and regional agencies, including those which do not currently receive CoC program funds, to consider applying. Funds are available for:

  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
  • Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
  • Transitional Housing / Rapid Re-Housing Hybrid (TH/RRH)
  • Coordinated Entry (CE)
  • Projects focused on serving survivors of Domestic Violence (DV)

A Technical Assistance Workshop for all interested applicants will be held at the Fresno EOC Nielsen Conference Center on Friday, July 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 3100 W Nielsen Avenue, Fresno, CA 93706. An optional training on e-snaps and PRESTO will be held immediately afterward, from 11:30 a.m. to Noon. This workshop will outline the competition and project application requirements. All are welcome. If possible, please send an RSVP to FMCoC@homebaseccc.org by Wednesday, July 17th.

The Workshop will be recorded and distributed to the FMCoC listserv. Applicants who cannot attend are strongly encouraged to watch the recording and submit any questions they may have to fmcoc@homebaseccc.org by July 29th. Applicants who do not attend or watch the recording will still be permitted to apply, but will not be eligible to file any appeals based on misunderstanding of the rules of the competition.

This Public Solicitation will be posted in the following virtual and physical locations:

  • Fresno Madera Continuum of Care Facebook Page
  • Fresno Madera Continuum of Care E-mail Listserv
  • Fresno Madera Continuum of Care General Meeting (July 18th)
  • County of Fresno Website
  • Community Action Partnership of Madera County Bulletin Board

Please forward this Public Solicitation to any interested parties, listservs, and public bulletin boards.

Directions to the Nielsen Conference Center are Fresno EOC Nielsen parking Map-public-participants.

For more information, please find attached a 2019 FMCoC NOFA Summary. Inquiries may be directed to Doreen Eley, representative of the Collaborative Applicant of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care (FMCoC) at deley@fresnohousing.org.

7/19: TA Workshop – Map Fresno EOC Nielsen Center

Fresno EOC Nielsen parking Map-public-participants

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