Sunday, September 13, 2020

Hello UCO Supporters

The first Sunday in September brought scorching temperatures and the return of nurse Anne and our housing specialist, Celia.

The kitchen crew served 131 chicken breast sandwiches with a cold pasta salad, icy cold water, and frozen strawberries to quench thirst and keep our clients hydrated. Nurse Anne dispensed medical advice, gave out first aid kits and vitamins. Our clients were thrilled to see nurse Anne. Many of our clients have health issues, but are unable to find consistent medical care. A big “thank you” to Julie and Kevin for setting up the pop-up tents to provide shade for nurse Anne and our clients.

Our second Sunday was a little cooler but consistently busy with 127 clients receiving sandwiches, a cucumber salad and some delicious desserts packed inside their lunch bags. Alvina gave out her special bags at the gate so clients got a lunch plus a nice snack to eat later. Some clients also took home donated Trader Joe’s salads for a later meal. We also celebrated Chef Melody’s birthday. (Picture below)

We continue to give groceries out to our families and those in need of some extra help. We are averaging 8-10 bags per week. Thank you to Cherry for picking up extra cereals and other much needed items this week. This Sunday we gave groceries and rental assistance to a mother of two who had been furloughed from her school district job as a behavioral therapist due to the COVID shutdown. The mother was appreciative of the salads, produce, pasta and other items from our pantry and donations through Food Finders. 

Celia, our housing specialist, joined us the past two Sundays. For those who don’t know, Celia has been with UCO for three years. Celia started working with housing at age 14 when she interned for Southgate Housing authority. Celia stayed at Southgate and was officially hired at age 18. At 21, she moved to Long Beach Housing Authority. UCO hired Celia under our Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant three years ago. The SAMHSA grant ended but UCO realized we needed someone who understood the ins and outs of housing in Long Beach. 

Celia is a specialist in all housing categories with certificates in areas from Section 8 to senior housing, housing inspections and more. Celia’s vast 20 year plus knowledge of the apartment and housing in Long Beach is a great benefit to our clients. Last year, UCO was instrumental in housing 55 people including 22 women and children. Celia also does outreach with the Long Beach Multi-Service Center continuing our long-standing relationship with the city. We are so grateful to have Celia helping our clients obtain and maintain their housing.

UCO is excited to be participating in the upcoming LB Gives on September 24. Long Beach Gives is a 24-hour fundraiser for a variety of non-profits in Long Beach. We are grateful for the donations already received. If you are interested in donating or being one of our fundraisers, we invite you to visit the Long Beach Gives site at https://www.longbeachgives.org. You can find us by clicking “Find Your Cause” under the “Get Involved Tab” and searching “Urban Community Outreach” in the resulting search bar. A big “thank you” to those who have signed up or already donated! We appreciate you! 

For this week’s food drive, we are asking your help in collecting sliced sandwich bread, turkey sandwich meat, spam, other meats in pop-up cans, envelopes of tuna, small peanut butters, pasta, rice and bottled water. Donations may be dropped off at the 2nd alley door at 241 Cedar Ave. on Saturday, 10 am to 11 am. Social-distancing practices will be observed.

Thank you for your support. UCO is a unique community of generous and loving people dedicated to making a change in people’s lives. I am grateful to be a part of this community.

Ann Schmidt-Lampe
Interim Director
Urban Community Outreach

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