WINTER NIGHTS ROTATING FAMILY SHELTER
A Project of the Social Justice Alliance of the
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
The Winter Nights Program provides a clean, safe, and warm facility at night and a daytime services center during winter for homeless families with children and for homeless seniors. The program will serve up to 30 persons at any given time. Congregations throughout central and east Contra Costa provide space, meals, and volunteers. Bedding will be provided, and professional staff will supervise the shelter 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your congregation would like to participate, please contact the office of the Interfaith Council at (925)933-6030.
Natalie Russell and Gwen Watson, Co-chairs of the Social Justice Alliance (SOJA) of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. The Interfaith Council currently has 125 congregations and interfaith organizations from a wide range of Christian and other faith traditions, including Jewish, Buddhist, Baha'i, Unitarian, Islamic, Sikh, Unity and Religious Science. SOJA works on issues of racism, welfare reform, immigration, and other areas of need, including the Winter Nights Program, which provides a clean, safe, and warm facility at night and a daytime services center during winter for homeless families with children and for homeless seniors.
Winter Nights Shelter last year provided:
- A warm, safe place to sleep for 107 family members--majority children-- from October 10, 2011 through May 6, 2012
- Transportation to school each day for the children
- Daytime “Oasis” (service center provided by St. Vincent de Paul Society of Contra Costa County) for the parents to job search, access services, find low-income housing, shower, wash clothes
- Case management by pro bono Social Worker
- Bus and BART tickets for parents to get to work
- Meals, tutoring and mentoring by volunteers with 28 congregations
- Opportunities for appearing in the Homeless Court to expunge records
- Data for the Homeless Management of Information System (HMIS)
- Program monitoring and quality assurance
- Professional staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Health care, screening, inoculations through Contra Costa County services
- A website with information
- A budget of $135,000.00: 1/3 from foundations; 2/3 from individuals and faith congregations in Contra Costa County
- At the end families were provided assistance by Hope Conference, and other programs, as they awaited longer-term housing with Shelter Inc and other housing providers.
Our goals this year will be to meet, and hopefully surpass, last year’s accomplishments.
This Year’s Improvements:
- Tent for each family
- Traveling Tutors
- Head Start at the Oasis
- Full-time Case Management