2010 brought with it the wonderful gift of a Capacity Building Grant through the Orangewood Foundation and CONNECT.
This grant has provided over $100,000 worth of consultant services to assist GHH to build our infrastructure and increase our sustainability. We have been able to explore Board Development, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Resource Development, Financial Management and Program Evaluation. I even had the blessing of working with an Executive Coach to learn innovative leadership skills. In addition, the grant will allow GHH to improve and enhance our workforce development program to include 3 new computer labs!
Thank you to my team: Janine McDonald and Alicia Maciel, The Olin Group, Doug Cassady, Vivian Ly, and of course, Lori Solomon! Also, a big thank you to April Alvarez and Emily Bradley, who have been so supportive of the process!
Another great outcome of this grant was the revision of our mission and vision statements.
Grandma's House Transitional Housing Program has tripled in size since 2007!
It was just about this time last year that we opened our second shelter location in Anaheim, adding 26 beds to assist women in crisis. Just last month we continued to grow in Anaheim as we acquired an additional unit right next door, adding an additional 8 transitional beds to bring us to a total of 50! We have enhanced our case management and counseling services, are supported nutritionally by Summit Events Catering, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Anaheim Marriott, and have developed or our own wardrobe closet with the help of The Gathering Church of Orange. We are also looking forward to opening three computer labs in 2011!
In 2010, we continued our work with Human Trafficking victims.
Taylor Solomon wrote, produced and performed an original play about the trauma of trafficking at The Anaheim White House with the help of some very talented actors from the Orange County High School of the Arts. In December, we will be filming this production with the generous and talented support of Jon Van Dyke and hope to have it available in early 2011 as an advocacy and educational tool. Additionally, GHH entered into a contract with Community Service Providers (CSP) to subcontract beds for Human Trafficking victims over the next 18 months.
Jessica (about Grandma's House):
"It's a little bit of heaven here. I had a great time here with all the friends. I can remember when I had no food, I was still starving, but now, we get so much food, when I see it, I almost feel full! I went to so many great events--the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Mayor's Prayer breakfast, the Stars on Ice--it was so much fun! When I first got here I felt like such a little girl, my friends were all older, but they taught me so much, always comforted me, and they are really good cooks!
I did my schooling here. I always had it in mind [in India] to go to school for child education, but there was no money. My next hope is to be a preschool teacher. I love children so much--they are such little characters and say the darnedest things.
One day I was outside and it started to rain, and I just started to dance around and around and around. Everyone was looking at me, but I just laughed and said, 'Oh, I am dancing with Jesus!'"
To hear more about Jessica's story, visit our website.
Nana's Kidz has provided over 384,700 meals to homeless children since our humble beginnings in 2007.
This outreach now provides year-round nutritional support to 210 children living in motels or other homeless conditions. We have also provided nearly 700 backpacks and school supplies, 400 haircuts and pairs of shoes, nutritional education and holiday parties. We participate in seasonal outreaches with the Anaheim Collaboration to Assist Motel Families which also provides health and vaccination clinics and other timely support.
Special Thanks Goes To:
- Senator Lou Correa, who partnered with us to host a back-to-school event at the El Dorado Inn, and who will also be assisting us with our motel Christmas party!
- FOCUS, a volunteer group of Orthodox Christians, assisted us this year by gathering school supplies for all the children, hosting a food drive, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, along with helping provide much-needed shoes.
Thank you to all our partners!
Nana's Kidz now distributes food in 5 cities through 8 distribution sites. Seventy of these children live at the El Dorado and Valencia Inn. However, there are an additional 130 homeless children at those motels alone who are on a waiting list for our services and support. It is our goal to enroll all 130 of them in 2011.
You can help us by sponsoring one or more children in 2011.
GHH is able to provide 616 meals, a backpack and school supplies, hair cut, pair of shoes, nutritional education and seasonal parties for just $25 per month! In addition, GHH will be opening a computer lab on-site at the El Dorado in 2011 to assist the parents of these children to increase their income and move into permanent housing. Give the gift of love to a child in need in 2011!
Continuing our mission to work with uniquely challenged women in crisis, GHH formed a partnership with Breast Cancer Angels and Breast Cancer Survivors and now provides shelter and services to homeless women in treatment and recovering from breast cancer. Imagine what it must be like to undergo surgery or chemotherapy, without a safe, warm place to live....
Kathleen, a breast cancer survivor, tells us:
"My son and daughter-in-law split up and got evicted from their house right after I got diagnosed. I had a lump in my breast I found in the shower and, I just knew-my mom and aunt had both had it. I just felt it in my gut but I waited about 8 months to do anything about it because I didn't have any insurance. I wanted to believe it would go away.
I ended up going to the hospital because of a staph infection. I was in isolation for 5 days and I started talking to the doctor about my other health issues.
He was immediately concerned and sent me to a surgeon that did a biopsy.
The breast cancer was already stage 2B-reoccurring breast cancer. I have a 15% chance that it will come back. If I had not gotten treatment, it would have been 36%. I had surgery on Feb 11th, but it took 4 months after to get MSI to release the funding to get the rest of the tests I needed so the oncologist could start treating me.
I lost my housing right after my first chemo was supposed to start. Meanwhile, I bounced from place to place. Breast Cancer Angels suggested I go to Grandma's House. At first I was hesitant and scared to go into a new program because I was sick. Once I was here and I met some of the people here, my fears went away completely. I felt safe and no one looked at me funny because I had no hair, was throwing up and blowing my nose all the time. Talking to my therapist and case manager helped and gave me more hope. It was a blessing because I wasn't on the street being sick in the cold.
I started believing in God again. I lost faith for awhile, but this place and Je'net brought me back. I read her story online and thought maybe they got something I don't. I go to a church now that I love-I just keep plugging along.
I am looking forward to reconstructive surgery so I can become whole again. My grandkids like to rub my fuzzy head and make a wish-they want to braid my hair when it grows back and put bows in it! You can spike it now, too!
Come to Grandma's House, there s a lot of hope here and a lot of love. People here really do care, and they stand behind what they say."
GHH has also grown their fundraising efforts to sustain our programs and services and continue our growth.
As many of you know, we were hosted at The Anaheim White House and OC Custom Wine this year for our annual events. These were a huge success. We have, and are in the process of applying for a variety of grants totaling more than $450,000 and are hoping to be successful with a good percentage of them. In 2010, our joint successes include: The Klein Family Foundation, The Wells Fargo Foundation, The Orangewood Foundation, Stater Brothers, Sempra Gas, and Soroptimist International (Garden Grove and Laguna Beach chapters). In addition, we have received several very generous donations for individuals in the community who believe in the mission of Grandma's House of Hope.
While our fundraising efforts always work toward the overall stability of the organization, currently we are specifically focusing on healthcare services for transitional housing clients, case management, support for the new computer labs and meals for Nana's Kidz, GHH faces the daily challenge of meeting the specific needs for populations that typically fall through the cracks of other programs, and we look to you, our community family, for the support that keeps us moving forward.
Grandma's House of Hope also wishes to thank all of our many committed interns and volunteers who generously share their time and talents with us to assist with events, work in the office, pack food bags and do whatever just comes up! Without you, we could not do what we do!
Grandma's House wishes you and your loved ones the blessings of this holiday and Christmas Season! If you happen to visit a grandparent this year, think of the love in that house and say a prayer for us as we work to inspire that environment for the women and children that we touch each and every day. As you prayerfully make your personal decisions about holiday giving, please remember Grandma's House of Hope and the powerful work we do in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.