It was perfect weather at our drop-in center yesterday for our 171 guests, of whom 17 were new. Over 25 volunteers were on-hand to help cook, serve and clean up, as well as organize and distribute shoes, clothing and toiletries.
Thank you to Board member Dr. Richard Graves for bringing new tennis shoes, long-time supporters Katiana and Kevin Luttrell for distributing new clothing, and Gwenny, Dale and others who donated gently used clothing. Volunteer coordinator and Board member Alvina and long-time First Congregational Church member Margaret were instrumental in ensuring that our clothing and toiletries distribution went smoothly.
We also made available Food Finders donations for take-away for all guests. Several of our housed guests including the young couple who lives nearby were happy to be given assorted groceries from our pantry, refrigerator and freezer. As we prepare to conduct our annual deep-cleaning and office re-organization, staff did our best to give away as much food as possible.
We distributed transportation assistance to 11 guests to help them get to their jobs and various medical and other appointments. We also made referrals to the Multi-Service Center for two of our older clients (who have medical challenges) to get them assessed by the nurse there in order to determine housing options open to them. Thank you to Shannon and Lucinda from the Multi-Service Center for visiting the drop-in center and talking to some of our shared clients.
Utilizing our funds from the Long Beach Community Foundation, we provided partial rent assistance to a client and volunteer who is planning to purchase tools that will help him resume his career as a pool cleaner. We also provided a 52-year-old woman who has been homeless since 2012 with partial payment of her rent deposit for an apartment that she hopes to move into in two weeks.
One of our clients (photo) who had been homeless since August 2018 moved into her unit last week and is so relieved and happy to finally be in her own place. She hopes to improve her recovery from cancer and her pending surgery. This client and her service dog Crème are now neighbors with someone who has a dog named Puff.
A long-time guest reported to us that (after being homeless for 2 years and 13 days) he just moved into an apartment in Long Beach with assistance from LA County Department of Social Services. He has HIV and looks much better now, only a few days after being in his apartment.
The drop-in center will be closed all of July to allow staff and volunteers to clean and organize. Our guests will miss us during this break; however, staff and volunteers (along with Nurse Anne and her volunteer nurses) will be ready and re-energized to re-open the drop-in center on August 4th. Staff will continue to work with clients to help them access services and housing during July; however, I will not be sending any weekly updates during July.
Thank you to our volunteers and supporters for allowing us to help people move out of homelessness.
Please consider donating to UCO through our website. https://www.ucodic.org/