$5 Million Granted to Fifteen Marin Organizations For Essential “Safety Net Services”

Jun 6, 2016

MCF has a long and committed history of providing support for what are commonly referred to as “safety net” programs and services.

To continue this tradition of supporting these most basic services for individuals and families who are struggling mightily in Marin, the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation has just awarded grants to 15 community organizations. And to increase the stability of support to these nonprofit service centers, and to encourage other funders and supporters to participate, the grants are for a two-year period, July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.

These nonprofit community organizations provide essential efforts to alleviate hunger and promote food security among individuals and families experiencing a crisis; emergency and short term shelter, and connections to permanent housing for families and adults at risk of homelessness and displacement; multiple services to low income individuals and families, including case management, information and referral, counseling, basic supplies, clothing, transportation assistance, and public benefits enrollment; crisis support and short term shelter for people who are victims of domestic
violence; and financial assistance to individuals and families experiencing a short-term crisis and need food, help with rent and/or other immediate basic needs.

“Many people tend to donate to safety net services most significantly during the holiday season,” said Dr. Thomas Peters, President and CEO of MCF. “With these multi-year grants we want to increase awareness that these services are critical year-round to individuals and families who are struggling. And by making extended grants, we also want to signal long-term commitment to these well-run organizations, with the hope that others will join in supporting their good work throughout the year.”

Adopt a Family of Marin provides support services annually to 400-500 low-income families in Marin, including financial assistance with rental and deposit assistance to prevent homelessness, utility payments and other critical basic needs support. They provide case management to help stabilize families, their housing, and protect children from the trauma of homelessness, and support families to meet their goals towards self-sufficiency. Last year, they served over 1,400 individuals (not including their holiday program helping more than 500 families).

Canal Alliance has been the leading service provider and community advocate for Marin’s extremely low-income, Spanish speaking immigrants for three decades. They reach more than 3,700 people annually through skilled case managers that provide support for immediate needs such as food, housing, legal support and referrals to other social services and community resources. Case managers also work with clients to create and reach critical goals that move them towards self sufficiency.

Center for Domestic Peace (C4DP) serves victims of domestic violence and survivors in Marin. They provide 24/7 hotlines, 20-bed emergency shelter, 21-bed transitional housing with intensive support services to move women and children toward economic independence and, advocacy services. These services promote the safety and empowerment of more than 4,000 women, youth, children and men each year, helping them increase their safety and rebuild their lives free from violence. Housing services provide more than 28,000 bed nights annually, a significant contribution in alleviating
homelessness.

Community Action Marin’s Marin Asian Advocacy Program (MAAP) serves over 150 clientsbannually. MAAP provides access to social service programs and community resources which are difficult to navigate for isolated members of the Asian community, who often struggle with language and cultural barriers. Other services include health education, financial literacy, immigration services, preventative mental health services, translation and transportation.

Homeward Bound of Marin provides critical emergency shelter and essential safety net and supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Marin County. They utilize 176 beds of emergency shelter and services in five unique programs: 1) 55-bed Mill Street Center – Marin’s only year-round night-to-night shelter for adults 2) 80-bed New Beginnings Center – only 2nd-step shelter for adults (including veterans) 3) 25-bed Family Center – Marin’s only general  family shelter 4) 10-bed Voyager Program – Marin’s only shelter for chronically mentally ill adults 5) 6-bed Transition-to-Wellness Program – Marin’s only medical respite shelter. Homeward Bound also provides a range of essential services to help each shelter resident overcome key barriers to housing and self-sufficiency.

Novato Human Needs Center serves as a primary source of support for thousands of low-income children, adults and seniors who are struggling every day from the harsh realities of poverty. Approximately 3,500 Novato area low-income clients receive critical services including emergency food, financial assistance, homeless prevention/rental assistance, crisis support and referral to other support services.

Operation Access matches low-income and uninsured Marin residents in need of care with volunteer medical professionals who donate vital surgical procedures and diagnostic services, with an emphasis on procedures that prevent serious medical complications and cancer. Last year, Operation Access provided 398 surgical procedures as well as diagnostic services for 268 unduplicated Marin County residents.

Ritter Center provides permanent supportive housing through the Housing First model, a leading national strategy to provide housing to chronically homeless individuals. Ritter Center also provides primary medical care, medical and mental health care coordination, comprehensive case management, along with support and resources. The Housing First program ensures that 20-24 medically fragile and highly vulnerable chronically homeless residents are stably housed and no longer living on the streets. In addition, these clients are no longer utilizing expensive public interventions such as law enforcement/criminal justice or hospital/emergency room. Residents in Ritter’s Housing First program experience an 85% decrease in these public interventions after being housed. Ritter Center assists more than 4,000 individuals each year.

RotaCare provides vital medical care and services for the relief of pain and suffering to those with the greatest need and the least access to health care resources. RotaCare serves adults and seniors that include the working poor, the un-insured, and the under-insured. Although many Marin residents have been enrolled in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, a large number of residents still remain uninsured. The clinic provides patients with acute medical care and initial doses of medication, as well as follow-up care and referrals. In 2015, the San Rafael RotaCare clinic
provided nearly 1,000 patients with 1,869 patient visits.

San Francisco - Marin Food Bank is the hub for safety net food in Marin County. They serve over 19,000 low-income individuals and families throughout the county, by distributing food for over 15,000 meals each day through their 47-site pantry network. SF-Marin Food Bank’s extensive network is county-wide, providing life-sustaining services in partnership with numerous Marin schools, churches, and community organizations. San Geronimo Valley Community Center provides essential social, health and human services for low-income residents of San Geronimo Valley and Nicasio. Services include the emergency food  pantry that provides access to healthy food to over 2,400 families each year, as well as over 1,000 senior lunches annually. They provide health and prevention services, including an annual health fair
that attracts over 300 local residents for free flue shots and health screenings. Other services include referrals to social services, early childhood school readiness preparation activities and youth development programs, as well as social and cultural inclusion to reduce isolation.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin provides support for Marin’s Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (REST), a place for people without shelter in Marin County to sleep safely during winter months. Last year, 42 congregations and synagogues across Marin volunteered to host guests and serve meals. More than 2,000 Marin congregants volunteered to participate with meal preparation, clothes washing, and other vital services. More than 350 individuals were served by this program this last winter.

West Marin Community Services (WMCS) provides a wide range of safety net services for West Marin’s most vulnerable residents. Programs address basic and crisis needs, such as food, utility and rental assistance. Services also include case management, referrals, and support to stabilize and reach self-sufficiency. Annually WMCS provides over 2,000 direct services to families and individuals.

West Marin Senior Services (WMSS) provides seniors in West Marin with in-home services that foster independence and participation in their community. WMSS provides comprehensive care management and services to more than 240 clients of age 60 years and over, and their families. Services include transportation, home delivered and congregate meals, wellness education, activities to reduce isolation and other support services.

Whistlestop provides comprehensive active aging services, specialized transportation, social activities and connection and volunteer engagement for Marin’s older adults and people with disabilities. Services include access to healthy food through their pantry, transportation to appointments, legal advice, housing matches and referrals. 

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