We’ll just come right out and say it. We’ve been having Amazon delivery issues. It seems our business operating hours are not aligning with delivery schedule despite our operating hours being specifically stated in delivery instructions when placing an order. We keep missing the deliveries because they come after we’ve closed for the day! A few months back our Executive Director, Jill Allen, took the matter into her own hands and posted signs in two different locations directing the driver to call her personal phone so that she could collect a package that was expected to arrive that day. While sitting at her desk, she received a “sorry we missed you” text alert from Amazon. Not wanting to miss the delivery, Jill jumped up, ran down the stairs, and burst out of the door to try to catch the delivery driver only to find he was stopped down the block. The driver came back to his truck and Jill met with him to try to figure out a solution on the timing of deliveries. During the conversation it became clear that the driver had little control over delivery scheduling and wasn’t too interested in solving the puzzle of how to deliver after hours. He mentioned that he had leaned out of the truck to ask someone if the place was closed and Theo, one of our helpful consumers replied, “Yup they’re closed!” And off our driver went.
As Jill returned to the office with packages in hand, Theo asked if she had time to talk. If you know Jill, she always has time to talk with consumers. He told her about a young woman, Dawn. He had noticed her across the street looking very scared and very out of place, new to our Chinatown community. He watched as someone had stopped to give her cash. He was worried for her safety as night came because cash on the streets can draw out some pretty bad behavior in people. Theo asked if Jill had any ideas to assist her. Jill had a few suggestions, but Dawn was still untrusting, so Theo prepared to keep watch over Dawn for the evening. He told her if she didn’t have a place to stay, it would be safest to spend the night in the alcove of Dorothy’s Place. Theo, who did not have his own place to sleep, was prepared to help a woman he didn’t know fend off predators and guide her to some form of safety for
the night. He also took the opportunity to seek help and advocate for her when he saw Jill.
These are the people in our community, our consumers. Many of them look out for each other, they know each other, and they know us. It doesn’t hurt that we’ve been in the neighborhood for 40 years but it’s not just that. It’s about how our staff interacts with consumers, treating them with respect and compassion. We understand that they carry trauma that can only be known if they choose to share it with us. We allow them to take space, to express frustration, and to exchange smiles because that’s what we do with fellow community members.
Next time you drive by an encampment or someone on the street who appears to be without a home, stop to think of the connections they may have that aren’t obvious. They might be trying to help someone else make it through their day, they might volunteer everyday while waiting on applications and referrals to services. They might just need you to recognize that they are a human being with daily struggles, trying to make connections and create community with what they have access too. As for us, we will continue to be here every day to have conversations, to feed, to connect our consumers to resources, and maybe miss a couple deliveries in the process.
The Annual Monterey County Gives! campaign kicked off on November 10th this year and we are so excited to be participating! This program is in its 22nd year and has given 100’s of local non-profits the opportunity to reach more donors through online promotions and raise more funds by matching dollars raised by this organizations during the campaign. From 2000 to 2021 they have raised a total of $45,447,747 for local non-profits.
A donation to Dorothy’s Place through Monterey County Gives! will support our House of Peace program. The House of Peace Supportive Living program at Dorothy’s Place provides shelter, structure, and supportive services to 24 community members who have experienced the injustice of chronic homelessness and are working towards a permanent housing solution. House of Peace social workers provide consumers with intensive case management and support in connection to services such as counseling, vocational training, financial literacy programs, and healthcare access. Daily structure and the communal environment at House of Peace builds daily living skills that are sometime un-learned after years of surviving unsheltered. Our goal is to help all our residents increase their chances of success in stable permanent housing, heathy living, and feel more confident in their future.
To donate online visit:
Checks should be made payable to:
Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) OR Monterey County Gives!
Don’t forget to write Dorothy’s Place in the memo field.
Help us get on the leaderboard this year and watch our progress at: https://www.montereycountygives.com/
The Drop-In Center and the Kitchen work every day to serve consumer’s needs, from meals to mail, from medical coverage to housing, our staff covers it all. We would like to introduce you to a couple of our consumers experiencing homelessness and are still looking to give back. Michael Ayala, a community health worker at the Drop-In Center, reached out to me about Tim, a consumer in his early 60s who slept right outside our front door when he first arrived in Chinatown. Michael tells me:
Tim has been assisting the DIC staff with cleanup at the end of the day. At 4:30PM, we close the bathrooms and start sweeping/mopping/etc. and he is always there to help us. One day while he was mopping, he told me and the other CHWs, “A lot of the people in this neighborhood take, take, take and they aren’t grateful. I don’t want to be like that. I appreciate what you CHWs do for all of us, and I wish others would show their gratitude by helping out with cleaning once in a while.”
Even though Tim doesn’t have much, not even a place of his own, he is willing to give back. It’s such a refreshing and much needed attitude to have around in this environment. Tim has found meaning and purpose by helping us clean each day, and he wishes others could experience something similar. Everyone loves Tim’s attitude and it’s great to have his kind of support in the DIC. ~ Michael Ayala
Tim Robertson DIC volunteer
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Consumers and the DIC staff
I had the pleasure of speaking with Oscar, a man whose smile is certain to brighten any room he enters. He is one of our consumers waiting on the sometimes-slow process of securing housing. He volunteers in Dorothy’s Kitchen Monday-Friday, doing dishes and helping clean-up. I asked him why he volunteers, he told me it makes him feel good to be a part of the community and doing something to help. He began to tell me about his daily schedule, and I couldn’t help but be impressed by his time management and fortitude. Oscar sleeps in a tent, he gets up every day around 6:00 am, breaks down his tent, packs up all his belongings and brings them over to a friend’s place, where hopefully they will be when he returns later in the day. He bikes over to grab breakfast at Dorothy’s Kitchen, gets a shower at the Drop-In Center, then meets with his social worker at Streets To Homes. After helping in the kitchen following lunch, he’ll get some exercise biking through town, doing some window shopping, then stop-offs at Central Park (he likes the trees) to catch up on mail and paperwork. After retrieving his tent and belongings from his friend, he sets up for the evening and tries to get to sleep by 10 pm. This is Oscar’s first experience being unsheltered and he’s doing his best to stay focused and connected. He feels welcomed and appreciated by Dorothy’s Staff. He explains his biggest barrier is getting housing and that the process has been slow but he’s not giving up. His advice to all of us is, “the resources aren’t going to come find you, you have to keep looking for what’s going to work for you, don’t give up, it might be hard and take a long time but don’t give up.” Thanks to Julieta Borges, Dorothy’s Kitchen Director for coordinating the interview with Oscar.
Thanks also to Michael Ayala CHW, for his contribution about Tim.
We would like to send out a tremendous thank you to Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) and Mortenson Construction. Without their support we would not have been able to see this project through.
A grant from BCA has allowed us to complete the purchase of a new walk-in freezer that will not only put us in compliance with SB1383 Food Waste legislation but will also give us food storage capacity to serve dinner to 90 of our neighbors at Moon Gate Plaza apartments. A note from Celeste Sterrett, SCA Social Welfare Committee Chair, “I am so pleased to announce you’re your grant for a Walk-In Freezer has been approved. Your innovative project is such a good example of the excellent work that is being done to assist those that are so often left out of the American Dream.” We are grateful to have created strong connections with BCA through The Buddhist Temple of Salinas and feel our values are very much aligned. Their grant has allowed us to complete the purchase of a new walk-in freezer. Buddhist Churches of America welcomes all who are interested in learning. You can find out more about the Buddhist Temple of Salinas offerings here: https://www.btsalinas.org/
Mortenson Construction has generously donated time and materials for the installation of the walk-in freezer. If you know how construction costs have risen in the past few years, you’ll understand what a big deal this is. A group from Mortenson also recently volunteered in the Kitchen. Director, Julieta Borges said they were absolutely the nicest group of people. That’s certainly not a challenge to our other cherished volunteers, but a sweet reminder of how grateful we are to have such a great community.
Many thanks to Buddhist Churches of America and Mortenson Construction!
Buddhist Churches of America
Central California Alliance For Health
Fort Ord Memorial Post 811
Lauralie and J Irvine Fund of the Community
Foundation for Monterey County
Monterey County Department of Social Services
Salinas Community & Economic Development Department
Monterey Regional Waste Management District
1st Church of Christ Scientist
Haynes Charitable Foundation
Order of Malta Western Association
Budget Inn Motel
William McNett III
Monterey County Probation Department
David & Judith Mora
Jesse & Portia Reyna
Salinas Valley Community Church Santa Fe
Shirley A and Wayne R Moon Foundation
St Joseph’s Parish
Toyota Motor North America
Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula Walter G Canipe Foundation
American Supply Company
Michael & Ann Briley Geralyn Budenholzer Camaldolese
Hermits of America
Chevron Matching Employee Funds
CHOMP United Way Monterey County Campaign
Community Church of the Monterey Peninsula Women’s Association
Costco United Way Monterey Count Campaign
Tom & Rosemary Favazza
Italian Catholic Federation of CA, Branch 25 Nostra Signora Del Sasso
Amber & Mitchell Kastros
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Roberto & Birthe Melendez
Sam Norris & Colette Erreca-Norris
Northminster Presbyterian Church Deacon Fund
Maria & Robert O’Farrell
Pacific Gas & Electric Company Employee Giving Nayan & Nimisha Patel PG&E Employee Match Thomas Prelle
Ruben & Yolanda
Pulido Clem Richardson
Check out the Get Involved Section on our website for easy donation information!
Check with your employer for donation match!
Many companies have corporate giving programs in which the employer will match their employee’s donation.
Set it and forget it!
Sometimes the easiest way to give is to not think about it at all. On our donation page you can select the box next to “Make this a monthly recurring amount”
Mary Soria Spreckles
James & Joan Stembridge
United Way California Capital Region
United Way Monterey County
The number of older adults experiencing homelessness is growing rapidly and while it is difficult to identify the exact number locally or nationally, projections based on three major U.S. cities estimates that homelessness among older adults is expected to triple by 2030. From 2017 to 2022 unsheltered individuals over the age 50 increased by 5%. At Dorothy’s Place 32% of our consumers are 55+ and all of them have complex health needs. People experiencing homelessness often live with unmanaged chronic disease and treatable conditions (such as high blood pressure), they have limited access to healthcare, and their health profiles are associated with individuals of older age groups. Individuals experiencing homelessness in their 50s have been found to have functional impairments, memory loss, and falls that compare to those in their 70s in the general population.
Lack of affordable housing, lack of access to healthcare, and general living costs leave older adults in our community at further risk of poverty and homelessness. Those who have their first homeless experience after 50 typically have experienced a financial, health, or job crisis. They experience the same barriers as those who experience homelessness for the first time at a younger age. Discrimination in housing, employment, increased exposure to the justice system, and overall quality of care.
While we wait for local, state, and national polices to catch up to the needs of this group we at Dorothy’s will continue to adapt and meet the complex physical, social, and phycological needs of older adults experiencing homelessness.