Friend,

This month we observe two national awareness topics, central to SHELTER, Inc.’s mission: Affordable Housing and Mental Health Awareness. For the former, we’re watching SB 561 by Senator Bill Dodd that will fast track affordable housing construction on excess state land, and Assembly Member Buffy Wicks’ AB2011 to build 100% affordable and mixed-income housing on underutilized commercial sites. We know we can’t fund everything, build everything, and change everything all at once, but these important bills create hope for future families to find affordable housing in CA. (Read more about:) Sen. Bill Dodd, Asm. Buffy Wicks)
 
For Mental Health Awareness, we are gratified to provide a free community screening of the documentary, “Angst” (see sign up info below). The film aims to build awareness about anxiety, and open dialogues between families, community leaders, and experts. Not only is anxiety widespread within the homeless population, there is troubling news about local high school deaths. There has been a 634% rise in the use of Mental Health America’s online tool for anxiety since the start of the pandemic. Clearly there is need to normalize conversations about mental health and take the fear out of speaking up. Finally, Spring is here, and with it comes renewed hope for stabilizing how we live and work; a return to more genuine interpersonal routines. And continuing to provide our great work to inspire people, change lives, and end homelessness.
 
With gratitude, 
John Eckstrom, CEO
Wishing All Moms a Happy Mother's Day

 “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill
 
Parenting is never easy, even when the basics are in place. We salute all moms this Mother’s Day; especially those working to provide love and support to their children while living in a shelter, on the streets, out of a car, or on the couches of family and friends. Successful mothers are not the ones who’ve never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles. 
Join us May 11 for a Virtual Screening of Angst
During the pandemic did you, or someone you love begin demonstrating higher levels of anxiety? Do you recognize the signs, or know how to help alleviate anxiety in yourself or others? The Month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month and thanks to the generosity of UnitedHealthcare, we are able to bring you an opportunity to view "Angst" for an online viewing and panel discussion about anxiety. The event is free to attend, thanks to our generous sponsor UnitedHealthcare. Learn more and register here.
Cinco de Mayo

We celebrate all diversity, and seek to help people equally, wherever they are on their path. Hispanic participants make up approximately 30% of our SHELTER, Inc. clients. This month we honor the Mexican-American culture on May 5, with Cinco de Mayo. The celebration began in California in 1863 to commemorate the Battle of Puebla (El Dia de la Batalla de Pueblo). Salud! 
A New Mom and New Beginnings

Sandra (not her actual name) was enrolled into SHELTER, Inc.’s (SI) Positive Futures program in August, 2021; she was homeless with a 14-month-old daughter and had just given birth to a newborn daughter. She had completed a work readiness program and was eager to secure housing. SI’s team placed her in a hotel and sought to secure childcare and remove additional barriers.
 
Sandra stayed pro-active and eagerly completed all her goals. Due to her good attitude and progress towards her goals, SI was able to secure this family stable housing through our Master Lease Program while Sandra builds her personal credit. Just before Christmas, this family of 3 moved into their very own apartment.
 
Sandra has now met the program requirements; she pays her portion of the rent on time, has enrolled in a local college and seeks to earn an AA in Early Childhood Development. Most recently during a home visit with her case manager, Sandra donated newborn baby clothes that her own daughter had outgrown to benefit another participant. Sandra said she was honored to help someone else because she wanted to pay it forward the same way the SI team helped her and her daughters.