Community Link
December 2018
Year-End Giving Ideas, Chapter 2
Dear Friend,

We’re back with a second installment of our year-end giving ideas, and we are delighted to share that some of you have already raised your hands to support the programs we featured last week.

This week, we bring you three funding opportunities that focus on helping vulnerable populations. Here, the goal is to help our county’s residents get their basic needs met, and engage them in healthy and productive community life.

This work focuses on providing care to those in our community who are most at risk of falling through the cracks. Often that means those living in poverty, immigrants, young children, seniors and people facing mental or physical health challenges.

Effective work in this area runs the gamut from traditional safety net services, like food, shelter and emergency financial assistance to health and wellbeing programs that ensure at-risk community members receive equitable access to physical and mental health services and legal protections.  

All organizations and projects featured below have been vetted, and all have funding gaps that deserve to be closed, in our view.

If you’d like to support any of them and have a giving Fund with us, you can recommend a grant by logging into your DonorCentral account from the homepage on our website
You also can give directly to any of these organizations by contacting their Executive Directors.

Next week our third, and final chapter, will focus on civic engagement.

With best wishes for a joyful season,

Rejane Brito & Julia DeNatale
Philanthropic Services Staff
Kids -- and their parents -- get connected to health insurance and medical care

What's needed: $20,000 for general support
People served: 15,000 children and their families are case managed each year
What they do: CHI’s goal is to enroll every resident in Napa County in health insurance, and to make sure that they use it to stay out of emergency rooms for routine care. When the nonprofit opened its doors in 2005, it catered only to children; recently, it added the capacity to also enroll parents. CHI partners with dozens of agencies, like family resource centers and schools, to help identify and screen uninsured kids, the majority of whom are living in poverty. Every year, CHI enrolls 1,000 new kids and their parents in insurance products they can afford. The program targets families who qualify for government-subsidized options, like Medi-Cal or Medicare, as well as those who make too much to qualify for government aid, but still can’t afford traditional private medical insurance premiums and may qualify for other affordable options, like Covered California. CHI’s case managers are bilingual and bicultural, and are trained in helping people -- the majority of whom are Spanish-speaking, and can find navigating these systems daunting -- to choose and use their new coverage. For example, CHI staff help clients choose a “medical home,” and then learn about how to access other health care, including dental and vision. When it’s time to renew each year, CHI contacts families and helps them re-enroll; and nearly 90 percent do. The high-touch approach is paying off: Nearly 95 percent of CHI kids have a medical home within two months of coverage; and more than 99 percent of kids are able to get all of their mental and physical health care needs met.
Contact: Elba Gonzalez-Mares, Executive Director, elbagonzalez@napachi. org
Low-income residents access bilingual mental health services

Organization: Mentis
What's needed: $40,000 for general support
People served: 1,200 individuals are seen annually
What they do: Since 1948, Mentis has provided mental health services to low-income residents of Napa County. Today, the nonprofit’s focus is to ensure that all in our community have access to mental health treatment, regardless of income, race or immigration status. In Napa County, Mentis is the only agency that provides professional outpatient therapy services, in English and Spanish, to people who are uninsured, the majority of whom are Latino. Mentis’ services are offered on a sliding scale to its low-income clients, some paying as little as $1; nobody is denied treatment for inability to pay. Mentis works primarily with adults and older adults, but it also has some services tailored to kids and teens, both individually and in group settings. The nonprofit’s success is rooted in its collaborations countywide, and Mentis provides therapy onsite where the needs are: in public schools; family resource centers; shut-in seniors’ homes; and at its offices. The agency has seen an increase in the demand for mental health services over the last few years, and attributes this growing need to repeated stressors in our community, like natural disasters, incidences of violence and changing federal healthcare and immigration policies. Mentis therapists help their clients -- whose unresolved personal trauma often is triggered by the accumulation of these events -- to learn coping skills so they can improve daily functioning and live healthy and stable lives.  
Contact: Rob Weiss, Executive Director,
Survivors of domestic and sexual abuse receive safe and caring support 

Organization: NEWS
What's needed: $20,000 for general support
People served: 1,200 kids and adults each year
What they do: NEWS supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and provides its services to all community members, regardless of gender, sexual identities, race or age. The nonprofit’s array of programs work to empower survivors to recover and lead lives free of abuse, and include: a 24-hour Crisis Line; a team of trained volunteers who respond to incidents of violence and assault to offer immediate help; support groups for kids exposed to violence; healthy relationship and rape prevention education for teens; and an emergency shelter. When people -- overwhelmingly women and children -- leave an abusive relationship, they often become homeless or are at risk of homelessness. To that end, one of NEWS’ core programs is finding permanent housing for its clients; it’s a significant challenge in Napa County, where the vacancy rate is less than one percent. NEWS has been successful in this program, however, by demonstrating to landlords and property managers that it will provide support and stability to clients during their tenancy. In 2018, NEWS assisted 35 domestic violence survivors to secure new permanent housing, and it provided emergency funds to an additional 48 survivors to allow them to remain safe in their own homes. NEWS has seen a significant increase in people of all ages reporting abuse and requesting services in the last year, which it attributes to the recent “Me Too” movement.
Contact: Tracy Lamb, Executive Director,
Napa Valley Community Foundation | 707.254.9565 | |