CCIH Newsletter 2017

Page 1

Summer Learning



Housing Expansion



Making a Difference



homepage spring/summer 2017

Welcome New Executive Director, Deanne Pearn


ontra Costa Interfaith Housing (CCIH) is pleased to announce that Deanne Pearn will succeed Louise Bourassa as CCIH’s new Executive Director. Deanne, who is a Co-Founder and has been Vice President of Policy for First Place for Youth, takes on her new role April 17, 2017. During Louise’s time, CCIH has grown from serving 72 people in 2005 to more than 1,100 today. Her leadership has been a driving force for CCIH’s outstanding reputation and response to homelessness. Louise is excited about CCIH’s future, “CCIH is fortunate to welcome Deanne. She has a record of stellar leadership and commitment. Deanne brings policy expertise and deep knowledge regarding the complexities of providing permanent supportive housing. She will infuse new energy, perspective, and passion to CCIH and our extraordinary community of donors, volunteers, and partners.” Deanne has been a pillar at First Place for Youth (FPFY)

for 18 years. She has helped grow the organization from a two-person start up with a $80,00 budget to one with over 100 staff and a $20 million budget. FPFY couples safe, permanent housing and education, employment and emotional support to help high risk youth transition to adulthood. Deanne is excited to join the team at CCIH. “CCIH is a vital community institution providing hope, dignity, and paths out of poverty for the most vulnerable populations. The team has shown an ability to consistently deliver results that benefit the whole community while adjusting to changing needs.” She is poised to support CCIH’s continuing response to the needs of homeless and poverty-impacted people in the county. “My goal is to ensure that CCIH continues to provide the highest quality services to the most vulnerable among us, and continues to partner with key stakeholders to work toward a day when there is no longer homelessness in our community.” n

What is Chronic Homelessness?


ontra Costa Interfaith Housing is committed to serving people in our community who are most vulnerable, including those who are chronically homeless. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines chronic homelessness as a person or family without habitable shelter for a continuous year or having had four episodes of homelessness in three years. Senior citizens and families are particularly at risk to become chronically homeless. CCIH has responded to this crisis with our scattered site adult and family programs. 65% of those in the adult program are seniors and 100% of those in the Families in Supportive Housing (FISH) program are families. Permanent housing coupled with support services are assisting people who have experienced chronic homelessness to begin their journey to independence and self-reliance. n


Most Contra Costa County market rate apartments remain out of reach for renters at 30% AMI

1 in 4 (or 10.4 million) U.S. renter households have incomes at or below 30% of area median income (AMI)


$598 Rent 2017 twoaffordable at bedroom 30% AMI fair market rent

Most CCIH residents earn 30% or less of AMI

Coordinated Entry Launches to End Homelessness

We Are the Dream: Summer Enrichment in East County

n an effort to streamline the process of helping people experiencing homelessness acquire permanent housing, Contra Costa County (in collaboration with multiple service agencies) recently launched a Coordinated Entry system. CCIH has a key role in the Coordinated Entry system as the provider of Housing Navigation services. Housing Navigators will work with individuals and families who are homeless, along with our partners throughout the community, to assist them to find and complete eligibility requirements associated with permanent housing. CCIH is proud to work with the County Homeless Program and our partners on this important system change. n

tudents who are impacted by poverty seldom receive the opportunity to participate in summer enrichment programs due to financial obstacles, transportation challenges, or lack of access. CCIH meets the need for youth summer camp opportunities with the help of volunteers, faith communities, and local businesses. Last summer, students attended a variety of camps: art, music, dance, sports, STEM, and theatre. Camps that were focused on science and math were especially popular as students learned about robotics and computer programming. Students in East County produced and performed the play, We Are the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with the guidance of volunteer, Morris Hirsch. Students had their first experience with theatre production. They memorized lines, rehearsed, and performed for friends and neighbors. It was a hit! Summer camps are pivotal; they broaden horizons, energize imaginations, instill a sense of pride, and increase skills and self-esteem. Thank you to all those who helped create unforgettable summer memories for CCIH children. n



Ruby Slippers Gala Raises Record Numbers


ontra Costa Interfaith Housing’s annual auction gala, Ruby Slippers - There’s No Place Like Home, broke CCIH’s fundraising record with $230,000 raised to benefit people who are homeless, living in extreme poverty, or at-risk of losing their housing. Guests enjoyed a silent and live auction, dinner, and dancing to local band, Johnny Soultrain. We heard from Arlene, a resident in the Families in Supportive Housing program, and her triumphant story of overcoming the obstacles of homelessness and finding permanent housing for herself and her four children. A heartfelt thank you to our sponsors, Ruby Slippers committee, volunteers, and donors for making this an unforgettable night that will help change the lives of so many. n

Executive Director, Louise Bourassa, poses with guests from McKesson Foundation (Presenting Sponsors).

Members from one of CCIH’s founding faith communities, Temple Isaiah, enjoying cocktail hour.

Your Support Matters

Ending homelessness is a tall order. But with your help, we can build stronger and healthier communities together. Here’s what your support helps make possible:

Committee Chair, Wendy Levich, helps get the party started - dancing to Johnny Soultrain!

Founding board member, Liz Simmonds, and her husband Les Simmonds.



Provides six months of case management services for a family of four in our new Families in Supportive Housing Program

Provides 100 hours of case management to prevent homelessness and eviction



Provide of Ho for stud in

Housing Expansion Supports Chronically Homeless Families


anelle was resilient. She was homeless and living in a car, but was determined to change her circumstances. She knew where to park without getting towed, how to get a good night’s sleep in her car, and make it to work every day despite many obstacles. Even with a lack of phone access, Janelle made it to the library to communicate with her case managers via email. She didn’t let anything get in her way and the hard work paid off. Right before Christmas, Janelle was offered permanent housing as part of CCIH’s new Families in Support Housing (FISH) program. Because

she is now in stable supportive housing, she will soon be reunited with her young daughter. Now, Janelle continues on working to make her house a home, remaining committed to work and better herself for her family. Janelle is just one of the 20 families CCIH will house in this program. These resilient families have access to case managers that will provide the support and resources necessary to stabilize and reach

self-reliance and independence. CCIH looks forward to continuing to meet the need for permanent housing for families in crisis. n

“Big Things Can Be Done in Small Ways”


ancy Luna-Walker set out to make a difference. After retiring in 2012, she knew she wanted to engage in meaningful long-term work in the areas she was passionate about: reading, art, and giving back to her Latina/o community. In 2013, she was ready to make that commitment upon learning about CCIH’s new Homework Club in Concord’s Monument Corridor. Four years later, Nancy is still highly active in the Lakeside community and has built strong relationships with students. “I’ve learned that it is easy for one person to make a difference and that big things can be done in small ways.” And she has indeed! After noticing that the Homework Club book shelf was sparse and that most students had very few books at


es three weeks omework Club dents who live n poverty

home, Nancy and her son took it upon themselves to collect hundreds of books so that every child could enjoy

reading at home. And she didn’t stop there. She has led summer art camps, including making stepping stones, signs and bird houses for the Lakeside community garden. This year, her book club for 4th-6th grade girls has been a huge hit. They meet weekly to not only talk about books, but to write poetry, draw, and have life discussions. Nancy has seen students grow. She says, “You see personalities emerge, your relationship with them changes, and they start teaching you new things. You feel privileged that you got a chance to be a part of their life in a small way. And always, always you are rooting for them! If you volunteer, you always receive much more than you give.” Thank you Nancy, for your unwavering commitment to walk alongside the lives of CCIH students. n




Provides 20 hours of housing navigation and advocacy

Provides summer enrichment opportunities for formerly homeless and low-income children to learn teamwork, enhance academics, explore the outdoors, and encourage learning

Four hours of parenting classes to assist parents with child-rearing skills, understanding child development, and healthy interaction with toddlers


Volunteer Opportunities

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing 399 Taylor Boulevard, Suite 115 Pleasant Hill, California 94523




SUMMER CAMP HELPERS Have a summer to remember! CCIH offers camp opportunities across four program sites (Monday – Thursday, times vary). Camps focus on music, art, theatre, sports, and more! Assist at one or create your own! Help make a memorable summer for CCIH children. DO YOU HAVE A TRUCK? Are you available to help pick up and move items to help furnish apartments for formerly homeless families? These are weekday opportunities between 10am-4pm. Trips are made on an “on-call” basis. PROVIDE A WARM MEAL Sign up to provide dinner to Garden Park Apartments residents. For more information, contact Volunteer and Outreach Manager Gloria Bertolozzi at

Together We Accomplish More

LAFAYETTE ORINDA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH beautify Garden Park Apartments with new garden beds, shed, and fruit trees.

MEMBERS OF WALNUT CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH posing in the home they fully furnished for a formerly homeless family.

LAMORINDA SUNRISE ROTARY delivers dozens of turkeys, continuing their festive Thanksgiving tradition.

MT. DIABLO UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH MEMBERS share a home-cooked meal with CCIH residents.


LOCAL GIRL SCOUT GROUP throw their first annual “unbirthday party” for Garden Park children.