Dorothy's Place

co-operating out of poverty

October Update

Friday, November 3, 2017 - 3:15pm

This has been a very busy year so far for Dorothy's Place. It's autumn, and we're looking forward to holiday generosity to help us resource at least four more social workers/housing navigators here at Dorothy's Place and the Chinatown Health Services Center. Why?

Because in addition to the 24 people we have in transition in House of Peace, and the additional 59 people that our trauma-informed social workers are assisting down the path to better healthcare and permanent housing, we have another 50 people on the waiting list to work with a social worker. That's the sadest part - seeing someone who's willing to be brave and take the first step, only to be told that we don't have enough social workers to meet the need.

If you believe that we truly can help people out of horrible, unhealthy, debilitating homelessness, invest in them now. If everyone gave a little, we'd have a lot in no time. And there's no time like the present.

Click here to help.

Your past investment helped Jimmy and Diane and scores of others.

  • Jimmy and Diane, now 60 and 55, spent 40 years homeless and addicted to heroin, making their living from drug and sex sales. Now, having graduated from House of Peace, they are clean, sober and getting legal advice and medical attention because of your investment. This year, they moved into their own apartment, an apartment they can sustain, their first permanent housing since they were 13 years old.

  • “Deborah" and her two teenage daughters are no longer living in an insecure RV, but in a safe and secure apartment with green space, because of your investment.
  • "Frank" and "Imelda" moved off the street, into Women Alive! Emergency Shelter (Imelda), then into House of Peace (Frank & Imelda), and finally into a Housing Authority Senior apartment because of your investment.
  • Carlos, injured many years ago at his job but never properly treated or compensated, spent many years homeless and self-medicating his pain. He now lives in his own studio apartment and receives excellent medical care because of your investment.
  • "Anastacia," after months commuting from her job on the Peninsula to stay nightly at Women Alive! Emergency Shelter, is now in her own apartment near her work, thanks to your investment.
  • "Patrice", who lost her home when the brother that she had been providing in-home care for passed away, started in Women Alive, moved "up" to House of Peace, and now has her own apartment and a job. To accomplish all this, she worked with our service partners to overcome addictions to alcohol and meth.

And now, here are some updates about what has been happening lately.

Housing Update (Learn more here.)

  • Since January, we've done intakes and assessments of more than 600 people.
  • 59 are currently engaged with one of our social workers and following a road map toward housing.
  • We are proud to say that in the last nine months, we have assisted 27 people into transitional shelter and permanent housing.

Drop-In Center Update

  • Open 10.5 hours every day, we serve more than 900 people annually, far more than those that live in Chinatown.
  • We have a waiting list, people that have come to us wanting to take the next step toward housing, of more than 50 persons. We really need more social workers!
  • Between our Drop-In Center and Women Alive!, we are open for safe shelter every hour of every day except for one transition hour in the morning and one in the evening.

Health Services Update (Learn more here.)

  • A health vulnerability assessment of 160 homeless people told us that there is a health crisis that is keeping people homeless in Chinatown.
  • We now know beyond doubt that more than 85% of those we serve require a mental health intervention, an addiction intervention, or both.
  • More than 60% require medical attention. And nearly 50% are between the ages of 46-59, too old to be competitive in the job market, too young to receive social security retirement.
  • The pilot Chinatown Health Services Center opened in October 2016, and meets many of the most immediate needs of the homeless, such has medical, out-patient mental health, HIV & Hepatitis C counseling and referrals to treatment, and Monterey County Whole Person Care.
  • We've just begun working with Monterey County Health Department to get everyone vaccinated for the Hepatitis A virus.

Of course, we don't provide all these services ourselves. We proudly serve with the City of Salinas, Monterey County Health Services and a score of nonprofit service providers, like Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, Community Human Services, and Access Support Network.

We also work with landlords to encourage them to accept our clients as tenants, often with a Section 8 voucher, and a full year of follow-on case management. Good for our client, good for the landlord.

We cannot and will not tolerate the suffering of fellow human beings who find themselves in desperate circumstances. We are grateful and hopeful to have partners who share our commitment to achieving a real, compassionate solution of health, housing, and employment.

Of course, all this progress has taken a lot of dollars and other resources to deliver. Although we are better supported by City, County and foundation grants than ever before, there is still much of our budget that is not supported by grants. Our grant funders invest in us because they are counting on leveraging their support with community fundraising.

Again, we need your help to continue to provide these services for homeless folks who need them. Donate.

We'll keep you informed of our progress, and we invite you to stay connected as well. And if you know others who would want to be informed and involved, we hope you'll share this message, and invite them to sign up for our news.

Your investment in the potential of our guests is truly a magnificent gift.

And a post script:

If you're a landlord or property manager, talk with us about units that can be rented with Section 8 vouchers. We will extend a full year of support to each person we place to help them be successful tenants.