Information and photo courtesy of Community Homeless Solutions:
Homelessness continues to be a crisis in San Benito County and throughout California. Proving shelter and housing is only part of the solution. Providing them with re-entry jobs and life skills is also necessary in order to promote their recovery and return to mainstream society.
Our organization through a small grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank has made it possible for us to launch a Community Beautification and Homeless Empowerment Project that will target work-ready homeless individuals to beautify local neighborhoods. The program will secure a crew of five members to participate in the beautification project.
The beautification services will be provided three days per week for a total of 16 to 20 hours. On a weekly basis, work crew will participate in a two-hour workshop on life skills development to help reinforce good work ethics, punctuality and attendance.
Community Homeless Solutions will closely supervise all of the project activities and the progress of crew members. CHS will also identify worksites including but not limited to the Migrant Center, county offices, city parks and other neighborhood locations needing beautification.
“What a great opportunity to empower our homeless community members with work skills training and at the same time get paid and teach them good work ethic,” said Enrique Arreola, deputy director of San Benito County Community Services & Workforce Development. “This is our first year of operating this program and we are confident that we will positively impact our most in need community members.”
Reyes Bonilla, executive director of Community Homeless Solutions, the nonprofit organization which operates the shelter, also added his thoughts.
“With the support of an AHEAD grant funded by FHL Bank of San Francisco, we are able to employ shelter clients who are homeless and provide them with the experience and training that could lead them to full time employment,” said Bonilla.
Shelter Program Manager Christina Soto said many local homeless clients are motivated to change their lives, but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons.
“Our shelter and staff offer housing, food, and support — the essentials that enable and motivate many to challenge and overcome the obstacles that led them to homelessness,” said Soto. “This project provides opportunity that can restore the dignity and hope that is needed to succeed.”
The Community Beautification and Homeless Empowerment Project was expected to start on Nov. 13 at the San Benito Migrant Center. Other projects are currently being scheduled within San Benito County and the City of Hollister limits.
“Everybody deserves an opportunity to strive for personal happiness by being a values member of our community,” said County Supervisor Anthony Botelho. “Some folks need a bit of assistance and a chance to succeed. The guests participating in the programs at the HOME Resource Center want to better their lives. All of us should be encouraged by their willingness to work towards that goal.”
Added Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez: “I’m excited to be moving to the next phase of helping our homeless with our new program to help them with local community jobs.”
If you are interested in being a potential site for the Community Beautification Project, please contact Christina Soto at email@example.com or call at 831 256 1852.
Visit www.CommunityHomelessSolutions.org to learn more about our organization.