SHARE Center Welcomes First Clients
BACS has moved in the first “cohort” of un-housed residents to the brand new SHARE Center in Salinas, CA! Our team, all from the Salinas community, welcomed the first 22 clients on Memorial Day.
Three families with children under 18 came indoors in our first group of residents, as well as 8 single adults. 86% identify as Latino/a/x. As a low-barrier program, we welcomed residents with mental health challenges, chronic health conditions, and physical disabilities. 72% have been experiencing homelessness for more than 2 years. For all of these residents, and every person who comes after them, BACS is going to do “whatever it takes” to help them find housing.
The SHARE Center is a beautiful and spacious location, including a reception, waiting room, staff spaces, health clinic, counseling offices, library, a commercial kitchen, a multipurpose room, pet kennels, outdoor dining area, children’s play areas, and bedrooms with 100 beds, including family rooms.
“We are so honored to bring BACS’ deep commitment to the “whatever it takes” philosophy to the Salinas community,” says BACS CEO Jamie Almanza, “we have a mission to serve and are so grateful to the community that has done so much to welcome us.”
Preventing Homelessness in Hayward
In response to COVID-19, and the massive strain it put on community members who were already living paycheck-to-paycheck or at-risk of homelessness, BACS partnered with City of Hayward to provide rent relief within weeks of the Shelter In Place order. Homelessness prevention is a huge need, in addition to services helping individuals and families who are currently experiencing homelessness, and BACS is a local leader in housing solutions for anybody who needs help. We created an online portal in 30+ languages for easy access, and worked directly with residents and landlords to stabilize housing crises. This was crucial to the Hayward community, and helped 670 families.
All funds have been expended, and community members are now referred to Alameda County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. There is clearly a significant need for this going forward, and we appreciate progressive and impactful Hayward City Council, Mayor, leadership, and other community members are advocating: let’s house Hayward.
Fremont Housing Navigation Center – 6 Month Report
After our first 6 months operating the Fremont Housing Navigation Center, we are proud to share the success of each of the 21 Fremont community members who are now living in permanent housing, and are no longer experiencing homelessness! We will keep working with every single person who stays with us to continue making this impact. You can read the City of Fremont’s full and transparent report online here.
One participant shared his story with the City of Fremont, who lost his housing and his mother in the same year. BACS assisted him with counseling and a lot of encouragement to not give up and use the opportunity at HNC to overcome the long-term obstacles he had been facing. He is now living in a studio in Oakland and working on stabilizing financially and saving for his future.
We are very hopeful, with vaccinations becoming more prevalent and COVID-19 cases decreasing, that we can bring in residents at full capacity within the next 6 months.
Wellness Centers Re-Open & Summer Events
We are so excited to share that our Wellness Centers are now open at 100% capacity, with some COVID safety measures (incl. masks, social distancing, & temperature checks). The soul of the Wellness & Housing Hubs is the community our members create each day, and we are so enthusiastic about the revitalization of our neighborhood as we see the Bay Area’s health improve.
In celebration of this, Towne House Wellness Center is hosting weekly “Wellness & Community Summer” events every Friday. We will uplift and celebrate the spirits and the struggles and the strength of our community with a DJ, barber, food, massages, and more – our full service partnerships and wellness centers create welcoming community space for all neighbors, housed or unhoused. For people who are often excluded, legislated against, discriminated against – you are welcome.
Teens Fundraise to Welcome Home Newly-Housed Neighbors
The incredible BASIS Independent Fremont Junior Honor Society and the entire school fundraised nearly $3,000 to help welcome home our Fremont community members who are exiting homelessness.
These future leaders visited our site, learned about their neighbors in need, and talked to our team – bringing these beautifully wrapped gifts of full cookware sets along with them. These cookware sets will be housewarming gifts for the people we move into housing, and have already helped 4 people moving out to set up their new kitchen!