Urban Community Outreach staff and volunteers welcomed 174 guests, of which 15 were first-time visitors, to the drop-in center yesterday. There were 48 volunteers, many from Cal State Long Beach and a new group of students from Garden Grove High School, as well as our core group of long-timers. (Please see photos) We appreciate everyone’s help and could not do what we do without your being there.
Not sure if the weather played a role, but our clients presented us with varied challenges yesterday and the days prior. Our staff escorted a client who had numerous physical and mental health problems to the County’s new mental health urgent care facility. There he was assessed, given a bed for up to 24 hours, and discharged with a recommended follow-up plan. We have made use of this new valuable resource as a way to help our clients begin to address their mental and other health needs.
UCO provided financial assistance to clients for transportation to and from various appointments. I continue to be amazed by the determination exhibited by some of our unsheltered clients to attend medical and other appointments. Because the weather had been so uncharacteristically wet on Friday and Saturday, we distributed blankets and socks to many of our guests, as well as our usual offering of packaged foods and fruits.
We paid the delinquent utility bill of a long-time client who has a severely disabled, 10-year-old son. The City sent her a letter that her gas would be shut off if her bill was not paid by October 15, 2018.
We also paid for the cell phone bill of a mother of an 8-year-old son. Although she is employed, she is currently waiting to hear back about a possible new, more stable job. Having her cell phone service cut off would disable her ability to maintain contact with prospective employers and others.
I have been working with a local estate sale company to accept donations of furniture and household goods to pass on to clients who recently moved into their apartments. The attached photo is of Michael who moved into his apartment nearly a month ago with only his backpack. He was so happy to have the table and 2 chairs, bedding and some kitchenware that I had gotten from the estate sale. Some of the donated goods will also be kept in our storage unit to help future housed clients.
UCO staff and I will follow-up during the week with clients’ appointments with the City and other service providers and help them complete their housing applications. Staff will also continue to assist clients who are ready to be housed by coordinating with landlords and property managers. Our IT specialist helped a client yesterday print documents off his phone that were required to complete his housing application.
Thank you for your support and allowing us to help meet the needs of our clients.