FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2018
$1 MILLION GOOGLE GRANT IS ‘FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE’ FOR HOPE AND MERCY COMMUNITY RESOURCE CONSORTIUM
SAN JOSE – A new consortium of homeless resources – including a cold weather shelter, a kitchen for a homeless job training program and meal program, showers, and on site case management services – housed at Trinity United Methodist Church in Mountain View are ready to move forward thanks to a $1 million grant from Google.
“This really is the final piece of the puzzle” said Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian, who pushed for the funding. “With Google’s help, and the Church as host, non-profit providers can serve thousands of meals, offer job-training programs, provide shelter, and care for homeless and low income folks in the North County.”
“Private sector, public sector, community non-profits and the faith community – everybody doing their part – doing together what none of us could do alone,” said Simitian. “Google has stepped up at just the right time to help us get this done. They get it, and that’s been tremendously satisfying to see.”
“Google is proud to provide funding to finally make this facility a reality,” said Google Public Affairs Manager Javier Gonzalez. “It will provide vital services to those who need them most in our community.”
With remodeled facilities financed by the Google grant and other partners, a suite of services for Mountain View’s homeless and low-income population will be possible, including:
A cold-weather shelter for single women and families, run by HomeFirst and funded by the County;
A dramatically expanded meal program, run by Hope’s Corner;
A culinary job training program using the kitchen;
On site case management to help people move out of homelessness;
Facilities to offer free showers; and,
A Family Resource Center, operated by CHAC, providing parenting classes and educational activities for families with young children.
The $1 million grant, which Simitian, Hope’s Corner, and Google have been working on for more than a year, will supplement funding from the County and other sources. A portion of the grant will fund the creation of a commercial grade kitchen, which will allow for the expanded meal program and culinary job training program.
“As our region continues to prosper, people of modest means are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet,” said Simitian. “Having a single location where folks can get a meal, find a warm place to lay their heads, and get job-training will be a true game changer.”
Simitian noted that homelessness is up dramatically in the county. In Mountain View, homelessness increased 51% between 2015 and 2017; and food insecurity is prevalent and increasing, reaching 27% in Santa Clara County.
Recognizing the need for additional services in Mountain View, Trinity United Methodist Church opened their space and their sanctuary to host a variety of services aimed at homeless and low-income individuals and families. This past winter, HomeFirst began operating a cold weather shelter for single women and families with children, which is funded by the County.
The Church also houses Hope’s Corner, a non-profit which has served weekly meals and provided showers to homeless individuals at the Church for six years. Hope’s Corner currently provides free Saturday breakfasts and bag lunches, free showers on Thursdays and Saturdays, and serves approximately 200 guests each week. Those numbers will go up, however, with the enhancements made possible by the Google grant.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from our donors, the County, the City and now Google to be able to improve the services we have been providing to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Leslie Carmichael, President of Hope’s Corner. “This gift will enable us to improve our meal and shower programs and expand our collaborations with other organizations to reach even deeper into the community.”
Trinity United Methodist Church also hosts a Family Resource Center operated by Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) and First Five, providing regular parenting classes, educational activities for young children, and other services for young families in a variety of languages.
Mountain View Community Services Agency (CSA) also has case managers on site every Thursday during Hope’s Corner’s shower program hours.
“The City is pleased to play a modest part in the network of organizations helping to make these services available to our community,” said Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel. “We are grateful to all the partners that have come together to make this groundbreaking a reality.”
“I’m gratified that after years of hard work the City, the County, the faith community, and the business community could come together to support these services for those in need,” said Mountain View City Councilmember John McAlister. “This is a great example of an entire community pulling together to accomplish something no one could do alone.”
The County has already approved funding for HomeFirst to continue to run the shelter, and for Downtown Streets Team to run the job training program.
“We’ve got an incredible community of people here, all doing their part to help people in need and address the issue of homelessness,” said Simitian. “This new resource center will help bring all of those folks together, and make it easier for people to find the help they need, whatever that may be.”