As Bay Area housing prices have risen over the past few years, some people are unable to pay their rent or keep their house. Unfortunately, have become homeless as a result. To alleviate this issue, many organizations have stepped in to try to help get the homeless back on their feet. One organization based in East Palo Alto, is called Project WeHope.
According to their website, the mission of Project WeHOPE is to, “help people become healthy, employed and housed using innovative solutions.” They operate in three areas: WeHope Shelter, Dignity on Wheels, and H.O.P.E Jobs. Project WeHOPE was named the 2016 nonprofit of the year in California. Over the past few years, Project WeHOPE has greatly increased its outreach and its funding has expanded tenfold from 2012. Paul and Cheryl Bains started and launched Project WeHOPE in 1999. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people in our community. They launched the East Palo Alto shelter in 2009.
The WeHOPE shelter, located in East Palo Alto, offers people without a home essential services. The shelter runs every day of the year and includes two hot meals a day, showers, and other personal hygiene services. There are also other amenities like computers and books. Two types of clients stay at WeHope: emergency and transitional clients. Emergency clients are admitted on a night by night basis and are often referred to the shelter by other agencies. On the other hand, transitional clients stay for a longer period of time where WeHope staff at the shelter can work on solving the client’s issues. Clients in the transitional program here take a series of classes, meet with case managers, and participate in a savings program.
Dignity On Wheels is a mobile solution to the lack of showers and toilets for the homeless. Dignity on Wheels launched in September 2015 at the Fair Oaks Community center in Redwood City. A second trailer was added in June 2016, and today the trailers serve in six cities in the San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Project WeHope currently has 4 trailers in service with a 5th trailer nearing completion and two more planned for construction. One of the trailers will service the Oakland Area five days a week.
HOPE Jobs gives the WeHOPE clients a chance to be certified to work as a Security Guard or a Custodial technician. Clients will take classes so that they can eventually be certified.
I will be working with Project WeHOPE to solve the issue involving clients not knowing financial literacy. I think being able to manage money especially when money is not plentiful is a very important skill that most people do not know.