|We at 5Cities Homeless Coalition are diligently working to do our part in reducing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while serving those most challenged to find shelter.|
While those who are without homes are exempted from the latest directive to “shelter-in-home,” we are working to implement a series of steps to provide shelter options for those living out-of-doors, while working to prevent the transmission of the virus and protect the health of staff, volunteers, visitors and those we serve. Here are the answers to some questions you might have.
What are we hearing from those who are homeless?
We are receiving an increasing number of calls from people seeking assistance. One from a 75-year-old woman who is terminally ill, who was asked to leave her shared housing due to the health crisis. One from a couple in an RV, one of whom is 80 years old, looking for safe parking and facilities. One from an 87-year-old woman who also is living in her vehicle.
These are in addition to several other calls from current clients who have been utilizing our services, including our Winter Warming Center (that opens on cold and rainy nights). See more below.
What are the key issues confronting those who are homeless following the “shelter-in-home” directive?
With the closure of gyms, those living in their cars no longer have access to restroom or bathing facilities. In response we have readied supplies and drafted protocols to potentially open a camping area and/or provide a safe parking area, should an appropriate location be identified and logistics worked out.
Some people who are sharing homes/renting rooms are being asked to leave or having their household privileges confined. One person we spoke with who is in shared housing was told he could no longer use the common areas of the home, including use of the kitchen.
Those who are living out-of-doors are seeking shelter and additional services. Some of them are being bullied because they are not “indoors.” Please understand that for those with nowhere to go, they are not required to be indoors but are required to keep a distance of at least six feet. We are working to ensure people understand this, and to supply them with items for proper hygiene and protection.
We have been in touch with some area restaurants, and their food suppliers, to potentially help develop a community kitchen to create additional meals for those who are homeless and those who may be facing food insecurity due to loss of job, etc. We are especially concerned about service workers and others who may be impacted due to loss of job. Restaurants and food suppliers are standing by for further guidance but are willing to help.
Is 5CHC open for business?
We have closed our office to public visits, while still remaining open to telephone calls for assistance at (805) 574-1638. We are posting updates on our website as well. We are continuing with all services, including information and referral, receiving mail for existing clients, and providing case management and housing assistance to help house those who are homeless and to prevent eviction.
Is the Winter Warming Center open?
The Winter Warming Center is not open at this time. At this point we are likely to open on Sunday, March 22, weather depending.
How can I help?
If you wish to help us in this critical time, we certainly appreciate monetary donations to our emergent need fund. We are challenged to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our staff, volunteers and clients, and we need donations of masks, gloves, safety goggles and cleaning supplies. If you have extra items available, please contact us. This is one of the greatest challenges our agency, and most other social service agencies, is facing.
5CHC is committed to the care and well-being of staff, volunteers, visitors and those we serve, and will continue to monitor the situation and adopt best practices accordingly.
We are awaiting direction and support from local government agencies, who have been working to secure supplies and advice from state and federal agencies. When that support comes through, we are prepared to continue our work and ramp up as needed. We are in this for the long haul.
Thank You – We Are in This Together
I want to acknowledge the incredible work of our staff and community volunteers and leaders. It has been a very difficult week, and I am so thankful for all that they are doing for those who are homeless—that is, those who are without a secure place where they can “distance themselves.” Through rain, hunger and illness, our staff and many community volunteers and businesses have stretched beyond the obvious and their personal comfort to respond to the neediest among us.
Please know there are heroes among us trying to rise to the challenge. For those who are serving on the front lines, please join me in saying thank you. For those sequestered at home, please know that your place is there, at home, and that staying there is critical. That said, I encourage you to look to additional ways to help your community, if even at a distance.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and please stay safe.
In light of the developing situation related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), 5Cities Homeless Coalition has cancelled its public office hours, while still remaining open to telephone calls for assistance from those who are in need of services.
“This is a time of crises both for those we serve and for our employees,” according to 5CHC Executive Director Janna Nichols. “5CHC can be the only thing that stands between families and the homelessness that threatens their health and safety.”
5CHC employees are working from home as needed and will respond to requests for services as they are able. South County residents who are already working with 5CHC, or who may need assistance to become housed or to avoid eviction, may still contact staff at (805) 574-1638.
Thanks to the Pismo State Beach Golf Course, Fin’s Seafood Restaurant, and many generous sponsors, 100% of the proceeds from the sixth annual “Hope for the Homeless” Golf Tournament on Sunday, March 1, was donated to 5Cities Homeless Coalition.
The more than $15,000 raised will help support the critical needs of children, youth and families impacted by homelessness in southern San Luis Obispo County.
We are grateful to our tournament marshal Ed Angelo, Bruce Van Vort and his outstanding crew at the Pismo State Beach Golf Course and Fin’s Seafood Restaurant, and of course all the players who came out to play on a perfect day on a beautiful course for a good cause.
Winning first place in the tournament this year was the five-man team “Four and a Half Men,” including David Shaffer, Brad Liggett, Cole Gibson, Charlie Gibson and Klay Mata.
Team “Portuguese Eagles,” including Frankie Gonsalves, Larry Yocum, Gene Freitas, Tanner Freitas and Louie Freitas, took second place.
Marty Springer and Scott Swenson won “Closest to the Pin” honors, and Klay Mata claimed the “Longest Birdie Putt” prize on Hole #9.
Appreciation for many years of tournament support goes out to emcee Andy Morris from KVEC 920AM/96.5FM, ECO Club Five Cities for green waste services, and SLOCO Data & Printing.
Of course we couldn’t do a major event like this without scores of volunteers, including this year’s standouts Karie Lucas, Larry Vernon, Jerri Young and Alice Carter.
It’s time again for the 6th annual Hope for the Homeless Golf Tournament, presented by Pismo State Beach Golf Course. This scramble tournament will be Sunday, March 1, 2020 at the Pismo State Beach Golf Course at Hwy 1 and Grand Ave., next to Fin’s Seafood Restaurant. The tournament features a 5-person team scramble format, with a start at 8:00 a.m. Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m.
The event offers prizes for first and second place teams, offers an “in the circle” opportunity, a “longest birdie” opportunity, a “closest to the pin” opportunity on two holes, and challenges players to make a hole-in-one on any hole for a $100 cash prize and a cash prize of $500 for a hole-in-one on hole 9.
Thanks to Pismo State Beach Golf Course, Fin’s Seafood Restaurant, and our generous sponsors, 100% of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the programs of 5Cities Homeless Coalition!
The fee is $250 per team (just $50 per player) and provides green fees, morning coffee and pastries, and a delicious bbq lunch. Additionally players can purchase mulligans, rent a golf cart (first come-first serve), and club rentals.
Invite your non-golfing friends to join us at the Post-Event BBQ for just $10 (advance purchase not required, but encouraged), to enjoy a great bbq provided by Fin’s Restaurant!
We’ve got some great raffle prizes!
5-player team registration preferred, however we will try to match individual players on teams. Click and register here to play, buy extra BBQ tickets. Small admin fee for online purchases. Or download a 2020 Player Registration form. Forms may be returned to the 5Cities Homeless Coalition – Fax 805-668-2380 or Devon.McQuade@5chc.org
Another great way to support the event is to sponsor the event! There are several levels at which you can support 5CHC, including sponsoring a hole for just $100 bucks! Click here for a 2020 Sponsorship Registration form. Sponsorship forms may also be returned to the to the 5Cities Homeless Coalition – Fax 805-668-2380 or Devon.McQuade@5chc.org.
Do us a favor and spread the word! Here’s a 2020 Flyer 8 x 11 if you’ve got a place to post them!
For additional questions or information, call us at 574-1638.
Peter & Carol Keith
Thanks to some very generous donations and a great turnout from the community despite a rainy evening December 3, Fin’s Seafood Restaurant in Grover Beach raised more than $19,500 for children, youth and families impacted by homelessness in southern San Luis Obispo County.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Fin’s annual “Dinner for a Cause,” held on Giving Tuesday (always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), is donated to 5Cities Homeless Coalition to meet critical needs of those who are homeless and facing homelessness, particularly unaccompanied youth and families with children.
Two large cash donations were recognized during the evening. One $5,000 gift came from a woman the Coalition helped house a few years ago who had previously been living in a shed without plumbing. She is now on her feet, in escrow to purchase a home, with one of her children graduating soon and heading to Stanford. She credits 5Cities Homeless Coalition with giving her the leg up she needed.
The second donation of $1,800 came from the band Sound Investment, who also donated their time to provide the evening’s entertainment. “Butch Valko and the members of Sound Investment have adopted some of our families and always keep in touch with us to see how they can help vulnerable members of our community,” according to Janna Nichols, 5Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director.
Another donation was auctioned off during the event. It came from New York Mets All-Star and Nipomo native Jeff McNeil, who agreed to provide a one-hour guided baseball practice and lunch at Fin’s to the winning bidder.
“We are grateful to Bruce Van Vort and the outstanding crew at Fin’s, Jeff McNeil, Sound Investment, our volunteers, our donors and our sponsors, as well as community members who turned out in spite of the weather,” Nichols said. “The funds contributed on Giving Tuesday couldn’t come at a better time.”
Money raised will help meet the increasing calls for Coalition services. “We respond to more than 3,000 calls every year to help families with housing assistance, eviction prevention services and basic needs,” Nichols said. Donations help fund case management, programs and operating costs as well as direct financial assistance for families – particularly children and youth – facing homelessness.
Pacific Premier Bank and 23 other local businesses and individuals partnered with Fin’s this year to host the event.