We experienced a bit of snow, but the season was warmer than usual leading to less need for the Shelter at Islands Community Church to be opened. Fifteen active, qualified volunteers met and agreed to staff the facility. Six separate individuals were hosted on the five open nights. We have just requested the distribution of volunteer stipends from the dedicated Shelter funds. It appears that approximately $3,000 will be expended with all except $1,000 reimbursed by the Town according to our agreement leaving about $10,000 to assure future project continuity.
Preventing Homelessness: FEMA
United Way of San Juan County is the administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program for the County. The local FEMA Board has chosen to use the funds for rental and mortgage assistance with the goal of preventing homelessness. (Funds are distributed to the three major islands based upon the 50/30/20% county population split.) The three family resource centers are the current sub-recipients, and other nonprofit providers of such assistance are also eligible to receive these funds. In San Juan County FEMA funds are put to very good use in helping those who might be facing eviction and homelessness.
Martha Huleatte, Board Member
Homeless Children, Families, and Adults
Building on our strengths as a community, United Way SJC is in the early stages of working with our partners to engage business, faith, government, civic, education and non-profit organizations countywide to focus on homelessness and all that this focus entails: developing a needs assessment and community action plan to address the conditions that help or hinder a resolution to homelessness, and working closely with the county and other partners working on Affordable Housing. Indeed, we sorely need shelters, transitional housing, low-income housing, and affordable housing; but we also need improved mental health services; increased case management hours; and funds to meet the needs of homeless children in the schools.