Charity Spotlight: COLETTE’S CHILDREN’S HOME

August 31, 2021 6 min read

Editor: Rebecca

While meeting mamas across the US on our #MHROADTRIP, we’re giving back to their communities! Help us support mamas and babies by getting involved in charities like Colette’s Children’s Home, or by purchasing our Mamma Charity Tee.  $2 per tee is donated to these nonprofit organizations benefiting mothers & babies in need – we like to call it a “chari-tee.”

MEET COLETTE’S CHILDREN’S HOME

Our California mama, Kay-Dee, was passionate about spotlighting Colette’s Children’s Home, an Orange County, California charity focused on providing support to homeless women & children.

Mission Statement:

Colette’s Children’s Home’s (CCH) mission is to provide homeless single women and homeless mothers a safe home and nurturing environment where they obtain compassionate support and services needed to achieve self-sufficiency.

How do you assist mothers & children?

CCH began renting a two-bedroom apartment in the city of Huntington Beach in 1998, housing up to 6 homeless women and children each night. The agency now owns and operates 21 Homeless Shelter Programs and permanent housing sites. CCH has the capacity to serve over 400 homeless single women, homeless mothers & children, and low-income individuals at any given point in time. Their shelters are located in the cities of Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Anaheim, Placentia, and Garden Grove. Their shelters are 2-bedroom apartments that are shared by only two families. Each room houses one family (mom and children). In the case of single women, two women share a bedroom. Clients have kitchens to prepare and cook meals for themselves and their children. Each client is given a key to their apartment. This makes our clients feel safe and helps them to feel like they truly have a home during their time in this program.

CCH’s target population is homeless single women and homeless mothers and their children throughout Orange County. 100% of their clients  are below the low-to-moderate income range with most falling into the extremely low-income range.

Upon intake to the Homeless Shelter Program, each client is assigned a case manager who works with her to identify the issues that led to her being homeless. An individual recovery or work plan is then developed with clearly defined goals and objectives to overcome the challenges that caused each client to become homeless. In addition to shelter, CCH also provides a total support system such as housing, utilities, food vouchers, bus passes, clothing, and hygiene products.

In order to achieve the agency’s goal of self-sufficiency for each client, CCH’s program provides help for clients to reunify with their children, resolve legal and financial problems, maintain sobriety, secure gainful employment, and establish a budget and savings plan whereby 80% of their discretionary income is placed in a savings account to ensure the financial means to continued stability upon program graduation. CCH also supports increased self-determination and self-sufficiency through Life Skills class meetings held once a week in the evenings. These classes address topics such as parenting, job skills, securing employment, financial budgeting and management, reunification with children, and substance abuse relapse prevention. In addition, CCH encourages the healing of damaged family relationships, the building of trust and support among friends, and achieving the transition to affordable, permanent housing.

Stats and facts:

CCH has provided housing and supportive services to over 5,300 homeless women and children over the past nearly 23 years.

The need for these services cannot be overstated. In 2020:

  • CCH had requests from 2,973 homeless women and children seeking shelter and supportive services.
  • CCH provided housing and supportive services to 382 homeless women and children.
  • 72% of women and children who left the program entered permanent housing.
  • 71% of women  secured or maintained employment.
  • 46 children were reunified with 27 mothers.
  • 39,510 temporary bed nights were provided.
  • 285,583 pounds of food was given to CCH clients, those in need in the community, and those in need due to COVID-19.
  • $150,118 in savings were deposited into the Client’s Savings Program.

Most recent data shows that nearly 7,000 people are homeless in Orange County. Poverty and the lack of affordable housing are the principle causes of family homelessness. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the hourly wage needed to afford rent on a two-bedroom unit in Orange County rose to $44.83 in 2021. This housing wage is equivalent to an annual income of $93,240; this would mean an Orange County minimum wage worker would have to work 128 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom unit at the fair market rent.

Recent milestones:

As they near their 23rd year, CCH has provided housing to over 5,300 homeless women and children. Over 1,550 women have obtained/maintained employment. Through their Client’s Savings Program,  clients have collectively saved over $1.9 million dollars.

Client Success Story from mother & client, Isamar:

“I was homeless, broken, and living in a bad situation. I had little food to give my daughter, and I was so afraid. I remember I was walking around after my stay at a motel ended. I had no place to go that night. My poor daughter was tired, and her clothes were dirty. I remember feeling like I had failed as a mother. It was so cold that night we went into a Denny’s to sit down and get warm. That night I met a lady who let me sleep in her garage. She did not know me and helped me in whatever way she could. I slept in her garage until I entered Colette’s Children’s Home.

Colette’s was the beginning of a new way of life for me. At first, I was afraid because I was so grateful to have a place to sleep, however, job hunting, daycare, and transportation all scared me. I did not know how to do any of those things. Little by little I overcame every single one of those obstacles. I learned to use public transportation, I obtained and maintained a full-time job, I completed the program at Colette’s, and I now have a permanent place to live. I have something else I did not have before, I now have a relationship with my family. I was able to overcome my biggest obstacle ever: I left my husband. For so long I was not able to let go of this unhealthy relationship. Because of Colette’s, I was finally able to end this relationship and they helped me realize that I deserved better for myself and my daughter.

Colette’s gave me a new life! This program changed my life and my little Sophia’s. Colette’s gave us a chance to heal, and to feel secure in our environment. We will always be grateful to Colette’s Children’s Home. The women in Colette’s are supported with shelter, resources, and services to assist in becoming self-sufficient and obtaining permanent housing. I highly recommend this program to women who are struggling to get their lives back on track.”

Goals for the year ahead:

CCH’s goal this year is to provide housing and supportive services to at least 350 homeless women and children. They continuously work to expand  fundraising and engage new donors to continue their work to serve the homeless women and children of Orange County.

Getting involved:

If you are interested in volunteering or holding a drive to collect items for Colette’s Children’s Home, visit https://www.coletteschildrenshome.com/volunteer/.

How to donate:

All donations help CCH provide the housing, food, supplies, and support that their clients and their children desperately need. You can also sign up to become a Monthly Giver. Regular monthly donations mean steady funding that allows CCH to deliver a lasting impact on the homeless women and children they serve. You can make a difference in the life of a homeless child. If you are interested in making a one-time donation or becoming a monthly giver, you can do so HERE.

You can also support CCH by purchasing items from their online Wish Lists. You can purchase items from Amazon or Target Wish Lists and have them sent directly to CCH! These wish lists are constantly updated to reflect their most current needs. You can find the lists HERE.

Donate, learn more, or volunteer by visiting www.coletteschildrenshome.com.

 

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