• Sunday Brunch Nov. 16 to Benefit Peninsula’s Homeless Women

    by Wanda Sue Parrott

    The second Annual Pancake Brunch benefitting homeless women of the Monterey Peninsula will be held Sun., Nov. 16, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Elks Lodge, 150 Mar Vista Dr., Monterey. The program will include special guest speakers who include members of the local homeless community, and a silent auction. Tickets are $20.

    The first pancake brunch fundraiser in 2013 served 400 people and raised more than $36,000; nearly $33,000 went to assist with harm reduction for homeless women on the Monterey Peninsula.

    The One Starfish safe parking pilot program, under direction of Dr, Tia Sukin, founder, Michael Fechter and Rosemarie Axton, was a principal beneficiary. It is now open and offering safe overnight parking at Community Church in Carmel Valley; at least four other houses of worship have also signed up to participate.

    The sponsor of the breakfast fundraiser is The Friends of Homeless Women, fundraising branch of The Fund for Homeless Women, which meets the fourth Wednesday of each month, 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Pacific Grove.

    The purpose of meetings, which are open to the community, is education about local resources for and about homeless women. Participants collaborate and share information about the public and private-sector services available to the growing community of homeless women, which ranges from teens with babies to 80-something grandmothers living in cars.

    The Fund for Homeless Women is a field-of-interest fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County that supports programs and services for homeless women on the Monterey Peninsula.

    Pacific Grove city councilmen Rudy Fischer and Ken Cuneo compiled a Spring 2014 report entitled “A Homeless Challenge—The search for a long-term solution” which cites statistics based on the 2013 Monterey County Homeless Census and Survey Reports:

    • 2,590 homeless people in total; 1,244 on the Peninsula; 79 percent grew up here, lived here, worked here.

    • Reasons for homelessness: 41 percent—loss of home; 26 percent—loss of job; 14 percent—divorce. Health problems and family crises made up the balance.

    • Twenty-eight percent of Monterey’s homeless are women.

    Councilmen Fischer and Cuneo conducted a matching fund campaign in which Pacific Grove would donate $1 per resident to a fund to help the homeless, provided three other Peninsula cities joined PG. To date, Sand City, Monterey and Carmel are part of the matching-grant coalition. Seaside will consider joining at its mid-year budget session.

    Timothy Barrett, candidate for Monterey City Council, organized the first public forum to address homelessness in 2012 and is a supporter of the I-HELP (Shelter Outreach) program that provides a meal and shelter to homeless men at thirty local churches and synagogues. An I-HELP program for women is on the drawing board for the next round of fundraising.

    Marian Penn, Kathy Whilden and Fr. Michael Reid are co-organizers of the Fund for Homeless Women and the Friends of Homeless Women. Linda Henderson is chairperson of the brunch, planning sessions for which are held on Mondays at Christian Church of Pacific Grove.

    For information about volunteering, donating silent auction items, or ordering tickets, call 831-372-7432.

    Wanda Sue Parrott is author of The Boondoggler’s Bible—How to Fight Like City Hall to Win!(Great Spirit Publishing). Proceeds from the book’s sale will benefit the Safe Starfish and I-HELP for homeless women programs. www.amykitchenerfdn.org or amykitchenerfdn@hotmail.com



    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 27, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News


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