UCO’s family of supporters continues to expand. I attribute this to a rising wave in our community that “all hands on deck” are needed to address the homelessness crisis all around us. During the past two weeks, we helped move donated furniture (beds, sofas, tables, etc.) to a few of our newly housed clients. Thank you to our furniture donors and movers: Julie Meenan of the Josephine Gumbiner Foundation, Diane and George Donaldson of ACE (Alliance for Creative Empowerment), LBPD Quality of Life officers, Allison Kripp of Beacon for Him, Adrian and Robbie Hovard, and Maxine Barton-Bauman. Betsy Yeh of the Estate Sisters donated housewares and towels to replenish our storage unit supplies. Thank you also to Paul Krugman of Temple Israel for donating dishware, pots and pans for our clients.
Last Sunday, CityHeart hosted a back-to-school faire at our drop-in center for over a dozen children, who were very thankful for their new backpacks, school supplies and uniforms. Thank you to long-time supporter Bill Kuehl of First Congregational Church for his timeliness in bringing new toys and books for our children.
Last Sunday, we had 198 guests and over 30 volunteers helping us; and we also distributed clothing at the drop-in center. Yesterday, we welcomed 140 guests, of whom 10 were new. Over 30 volunteers helped us prepare and serve meals, as well as clean up.
Nurse Anne and her assistants Anne and Sharon were on-hand for consultations and blood pressure checks – they also dispensed toiletries and supplements yesterday.
Using our funds from the Long Beach Community Foundation, we gave rent assistance to three women who experienced unexpected set-backs that caused them to be short on rent due this week. One woman had her appendix burst on August 22nd – missing over a week of work meant her paycheck would not cover her rent. Another woman had her hours reduced at her hourly position in a local supermarket. Another woman has been balancing her cancer treatments with her freelance work.
We helped pay the past-due electricity bill of a woman who recently had a stroke and is recovering from cancer. She recently moved into a nearby apartment by herself and got her purse stolen. We also provided this woman with bus passes to help her get to her cancer treatments.
As usual, we provided transportation assistance to several other guests. Last Sunday, we paid for gas to get a senior couple back to family in Las Vegas. The financial assistance given yesterday ranged from $7-worth of bus passes to a check for a $67 Edison bill to $500 payment to a landlord. I am continually reminded that those who are homeless or recently housed have very limited or no access to money.
Please consider visiting us at 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.
Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters!