The drop-in center re-opened yesterday to welcome 130 guests, of whom 15 were new (photo).
Chef Melody and her team of volunteers prepared enchiladas and salads to serve to our guests. Thank you to our over 20 volunteers who helped cook, serve and clean. Thank you to Food Finders for re-starting their deliveries of rescued food to help us make the most of resources available. Also, thank you to Rev. Elena Larssen and members of First Congregational Church for continuing to be our partners in serving those in need.
Guests kept Nurse Anne and her assistant Anna busy all afternoon (photo) – blood pressures were measured, and over-the-counter remedies and toiletries were distributed. Our volunteer nurses showed an abundance of patience as a steady line of guests came to them to discuss a variety of ailments – from swollen legs and feet and other conditions.
About a dozen guests came into the office to discuss their needs. Several clients were given bus passes to help them get to and from jobs and medical and other appointments. We gave an elderly gentleman who is housed at Villages at Cabrillo money to do his laundry. We also gave funds for a bus ticket to Bakersfield to another elderly gentleman who has been homeless for two years. He knew someone in Bakersfield and hoped that he would be able to find a job and stabilize his life there.
During July, staff and I were busy meeting with clients – we made referrals for shelter and assistance with housing applications and placements. Utilizing our funds from the Long Beach Community Foundation, we provided motel stays, rent assistance and shared (transitional) housing placements to several clients. We made these investments to allow clients respite, time and hope to work towards their permanent housing plans.
Thank you to Betsy Yeh, owner of The Estate Sisters, for donating gently used furniture, bedding and housewares to us that we passed on to newly housed clients. We were able to give a very grateful client who had worked with Christine Barry, the Quality of Life team and the MSC a bed and housewares right after he moved into Villages at Cabrillo last month.
We are grateful to our new friends and supporters at Alliance for Creative Empowerment (ACE) who have donated funds and are our drop-in center sponsors (for disposal goods) in August. ACE is a grass-roots organization which is committed to working to address homelessness. Members of ACE helped a recently housed client by providing a dining table and chairs.
Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters! Your donation of time and resources enable us to provide a place of nourishment and hope and to help people move out of homelessness. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation for renewing their generous support of UCO.
Please consider visiting our drop-in center on Sundays between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm and/or donating to UCO through our website – www.ucodic.org.