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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.

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

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

“The Perception of Growth”, a Poem by Sarah (HomeFront GPD)

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We’d like to share an uplifting poem written by Sarah from our HomeFront GPD transitional living program for women Veterans with/without children. She wrote this poem for this year’s Creative Arts Competition presented by the VA Central California Health Care System and was awarded first place in her respective category! Congratulations and thank you for sharing, Sarah!

Sarah HomeFront Quote

“The Perception of Growth”

“In the essence of a journey

One gets to decide your fate.

What will it be?

You ask yourself repeatedly.

As I close my eyes, the sandman approaches and sprinkles the dust over my ambiance.

What will it be?

How will you begin your day to move forward he asks me?

How do you want to define yourself on this road?

Day after day I push and I push

Again and again through this chaotic struggle.

With ambition

Dipping my toe into the water

Patiently burgeoning

That’s the beauty of progress

Owning your experience

Not to out run your past

Or bask in the pandemonium

Remember that one who gets to decide your fate?

Look in the mirror

What do you see?

You want me to tell you what I see?

I see a fire in her eyes

The rivers in her soul

I see the improvements she makes day in and day out

Someone who desires for something greater than herself

Using that pain

Breaking that barrier

He whispers, ‘You are a sunflower

of the earth that grew too tall’

She smiled, amicably continued planting those seeds.

This year she learned to walk a new path

This year she learned to adapt to change

She learned what you import, you export

She learned that iron sharpens Iron

She learned to grow.”

– Sarah

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WCCA Logo PNG

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.

2018 CoC Collaborative Application

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

Public Posting of Collaborative Application

 

Ten VSWP Veterans Graduate from the Fresno City College Police Academy

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Our Veterans Safeway to Work Program (VSWP) made possible by the Safeway Foundation and Vons Foundation and offered by San Joaquin Valley Veterans  (SJVV), a project of WestCare California, provides vocational assistance to Veterans in need of supplies or training for their desired profession. We’d like to share an update for ten of our VSWP Vets who graduated from Fresno City College’s State Center Regional Training Facility (SCRTF) Police Academy this past December!

On December 11, 2017, we were proud to see ten of our Veterans served by our VSWP program be a part of the 148th graduating class of the SCRTF police academy at Fresno City College! Prior to their graduation, they have all found employment with local law enforcement agencies (Fresno and Madera Police Department and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office).

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It is our honor to say that this is our first class of Veterans that are graduating after their time with VSWP! We treated our grads to a dinner where they shared with our Deputy Administrator of Community-Based Programs, Lynn Pimentel, their personal backgrounds, what led them to choose this career path and how VSWP assisted them in their quest of becoming police officers. We are beaming with pride for all that they have accomplished and know that they will continue to make us proud while they make a positive difference within the communities that they serve!

VSWP Flyer

WCCA Logo PNGFor 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.

“Change Can Happen if You Give Hope” by Bobbi Hafar, HERO Team

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“Today took a toll on me emotionally. I called to get some information on a homeless client that I have been working with so that I can help get him into housing. I couldn’t locate him for a while.

I found out that he had been found in an alleyway bleeding from his ears, mouth and nose and was also bleeding internally. He was taken to the hospital 10 days ago. So, I went to the hospital to check in with him. He is a polite 73-year-old man. He has a drinking problem that he acquired after he lost his wife four years ago. After she passed away, he became a heavy drinker and was evicted from his home and became homeless. In the four years of his homeless lifestyle, he acquired hepatitis C from sharing needles.

I immediately went to the hospital after finding out today to visit and see how he was doing. He was happy to have a visitor. I told him, ‘Well, you’re in a good spot. It’s raining cats and dogs out there!’ The nurse told me that he had an operation to remove water from his stomach and that he had a blood infection caused by drinking and hepatitis C. She proceeded to tell me that he stopped taking medication for it because he was upset that he couldn’t get his methadone. After I told him how important it was to be on his medication and that his life is important, he replied, ‘I’m a grumpy old man. I’m sick of taking it. I already took it long enough.’ I said, ‘Yeah and a stubborn stinker at that!’ He laughed. I told him, ‘If you stop taking that medication, you will be right back in this bed at the hospital next week.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ Then he told me that he would put his IV back in. So, I retrieved the nurse and told her.

Before I left, I told him that I’ll be checking on him. After he gets out, the plan is to find him housing. I explained to him that I need him to get better. I’m just hoping that he gets better and takes his medication.

Everyone’s life matters. Even the homeless – the forgotten. Everyone deserves to be cared for and feel that they matter. It broke my heart that he was in the hospital with no family to support him through this. Change can happen if you give hope.” – Bobbi Hafar, Outreach Specialist, HERO (Homeless Engagement Resource Outreach) Team

The HERO (Homeless Engagement Resource Outreach) Team provides outreach, identification, assessment and navigation services for Veterans and other chronically homeless individuals and their families within the City of Fresno. The goal is to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.

WestCare California, Inc. and its subcontracted partners: Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Poverello House and Turning Point of Central California employ Outreach/Navigators to work alongside the Fresno Police Department Homeless Task Force, respond to requests for street outreach and assessments generated from the City of Fresno and coordinate with all Multi Agency Access Point (MAP) locations and other housing and support services. These services and interventions are geared to removing barriers while providing linkages to supportive services in an effort to achieve housing stabilization for homeless Veterans and other chronically homeless individuals and their families.

For More Program Information, Contact:
(559) 241-8753 Ext. 21230 or hero.team@westcare.com

Veterans Safeway to Work Program Gets A Vet Back on the Road to Employment

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Our Veterans Safeway to Work Program (VSWP) made possible by the Safeway Foundation and Vons Foundation and offered by San Joaquin Valley Veterans  (SJVV), a project of WestCare California, provides vocational assistance to Veterans in need of supplies or training for their desired profession. We’d like to share a letter written by our staff about one such Veteran that we serve.

“Larry came to the Veteran’s Plaza transitional housing program on December 1st, 2015. He had no source of income when he arrived and had a rough time adjusting at first. However, things started to change for him. He started opening up and would bring laughter to his peers and staff. One day, Larry informed me that he had 25 years of experience with driving trucks and that he wanted to get back into the field of truck driving. Then along came the Veterans Safeway to Work Program (VSWP), which gave Larry the opportunity to get back into truck driving.  He finished his resume, began applying with various truck driving companies vswp-success-story-larry-1and was referred to United Truck Driving School as a refresher. In order to enroll, he needed $800.00 for tuition and a renewal for his Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). VSWP was able to assist Larry by covering the cost of both the class and his license renewal. He has since received a certificate in recognition of successful completion of the course! He said that he has so much to be thankful for this holiday season! Larry is currently working with an Employment Specialist at the Fresno VA as he continues his job search.” – Curtis Combs, Case Manager, Veterans Safeway to Work Program (VSWP)

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