Derk & Wendy Schulze: The North Coast Resource Center Is Regrouping – January 31, 2012
The North Coast Resource Center is approaching its first month of being closed. We remain hopeful that the closure is temporary and will attempt to keep you informed of our progress. We are eager to see the following services return to and for Arcata.
The NCRC’s Food Pantry is our food box program available once/month per USDA criteria for low-income local households. We averaged 248 boxes per month in 2011. Food for People, (707) 445-3166, has been covering for the NCRC by providing food box distribution on Tuesdays at the Arcata Presbyterian Church.
Every afternoon along with our food box distribution we also offer gleaning of bread, fruits and vegetables donated by area merchants. We saw over 30 people per day come in for supplemental food in 2011. This service is available to our homeless and housed community, but currently is unavailable until we are able to reopen.
All of our program participants have access to daily meals and the community meal is offered two days/week. Some 8,500 hot, nutritious meals were served in the last half of 2011.
The service center has had showers and laundry service since its inception. We do a lot to keep people clean and healthy. Over 2200 showers were taken in 2011.
Not overlooking the importance of being clean, access to showers helps stem the tide of skin ailments that would otherwise occur. Over 900 loads of laundry were washed by and for our program participants.
We also distribute toothpaste and toothbrushes to the needy. Over 500 pairs of new socks were given out last year as foot care is one of the greatest needs to those who are without shelter. Murphy’s Sunny Brae just donated over 60 pairs of socks, several knitted caps and 15 packages of new underwear. We are planning on distributing these in the very near future.
Utilizing existing programs as a tool, we give clients the opportunity to learn new skills and gain dignity by providing services to others. This voluntary, hands-on participation imparts a sense of personal empowerment and helps individuals attain the personal tools necessary to improve their own life circumstances.
When given an opportunity to be useful, mental health often improves and the desire to abuse substances decreases. This is Back to Basics, our integrated program which was averaging around 50 people per year moving into employment.
NCRC provides a host facility for Homeless Court, a Superior Court service that provides a way for homeless individuals to “pay” for their minor infractions through community service. This program helps promote our value of healthy self-reliance. The Arcata Presbyterian Church served as the location this month. It is our hope that the next Homeless Court in March will return to the NCRC.
The NCRC has contracted with the County to provide transportation assistance for individuals and families that have verifiable shelter and/or employment in a location outside of Humboldt County. We also try to provide transportation for our clients to get to and from their local appointments.
One of our most successful programs is our Extreme Weather Shelter. We are eager to get this program going again. It requires a financially healthy organization. This is second on our priority list to restore. Food service is our first priority.
The NCRC has worked very hard at developing services and programs that are a hand up and not just a hand out.
Ways to help: Financial contributions are always welcome and can be mailed to NCRC, 501 Ninth St., Arcata, CA 95521. If interested in serving in any capacity, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Derk and Wendy Schulze are board members of the NCRC. In their spare time Derk pastors Sunny Brae Church and Wendy helps children learn to read.