After commemorating the end of REST (a rotating and temporary winter shelter program created by Marin Organizing Committee (MOC) for homeless individuals and families) MOC leaders are now focusing on identifying funding for more permanent housing options, including a "housing first" approach to homelessness. "We have realized for some time that was just a lifeboat," said Purdy, a member of the First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael. "We kept people fed and out of the rain and cold but we did not end homelessness."
And after learning that most tenants that inquire about the landlord mediation program refrain from participation for fear of retaliation by their landlords, leaders are renewing their push for a "just cause" eviction ordinance. "It's hard to imagine tenants feeling safe requesting mediation from landlords, if the landlord has the right to evict them without cause," Meredith Parnell, chairwoman of the Marin Organizing Committee's renter protection team, said at a public hearing.Read more
300+ leaders of the Marin Organizing Committee gathered for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the end of a 10-year old temporary shelter program they established, REST, and the start of a new best-practice system of care to end homelessness in Marin County, called Housing Focused Shelter.
"Justice requires permanent housing over a temporary spot on a church floor," said Rev. Jan Reynolds, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael and member of Marin Organizing Committee.Read more
In an event convened by COPA, clergy and judicatories from Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, and Jewish backgrounds called on the business community to join them in a collective effort to identify solutions to the lack of immigration reform. Immigrants shared stories about the impact of legalization in the 1980s and the challenges of providing for family without authorization to work.
In turn, agricultural industry leader Wesley Van Camp of agribusiness Tanimura & Antle reaffirmed her commitment to fight for immigration reforms and pointedly noted the absence of industry leaders in construction and hospitality in advocacy efforts. "I take that on as a bit of a challenge," said Don Chapin of Chapin Construction " I couldn't agree more."Read more
500 One LA-IAF leaders assembled with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss implementation of the recently passed linkage fee for affordable housing at St. Agnes Catholic Church, and to report on what is happening in their neighborhoods. Representing the first community organization with which the Mayor met, leaders challenged him to more deeply collaborate with the organization in the next few months.Read more
COPA Launches Esperanza Care: $2M Health Care Expansion for Monterey County Low-Income, Undocumented Families
When Maria Elena Manzo (upper left photo), an asthma educator from Sacred Heart Catholic Church, first discovered that children of Monterey County undocumented were unable to qualify for free life-saving asthma inhalers -- and that those in Santa Cruz county did -- she immediately reached out to COPA-IAF. She and other COPA leaders organized hundreds of conversations over the next few years to build the political will, first for a $500,000 county-funded pilot project providing basic healthcare services to undocumented families, and now for Esperanza Care.Read more
In front of 300 Marin Organizing Committee leaders assembled at St. Raphael Catholic Church, Marin County Supervisor Damon Connelly (in bottom right photo) and Supervisor Katie Rice revealed that the County's next step in addressing the region's affordability crisis might be to require mediation for landlords seeking to raise the rent by more than 5%. This announcement followed a prior assembly convened by MOC leaders to address deportation and eviction threats faced by local immigrants, public testimony in Supervisor Board hearings, and multiple meetings with County Supervisors.Read more
The expanded program will provide at least 2,500 low-income undocumented residents, including farm workers and their families, with full-scope primary and preventative care, labs, radiology, medication and specialty services. A third-party administrator will be hired to issue enrollment cards, administer payments and track data.Read more
The effort initially grew out of an ICON "Don't Trash Pomona" campaign, begun by member congregation First Presbyterian Church, in which leaders succeeded in negotiating a 33% reduction of trash processed at the plant and conversion of company trucks to CNG alternative fuel.Read more