We are excited to announce the opening of our new Service Center in Monterey, because your support allowed us to expand our program! Located at 187 El Dorado, Suite D, the Service Center will be open three days a week and will allow homeless women to access critical services more frequently.
The suite of offices will house staff and volunteers who will meet with the women in a quiet and private setting to offer case management, resources and referrals and vouchers for showers, laundry, gas and the bus. The women will be able to get clothing and personal care items as needed and can access a computer for job searches or to contact friends and family. Training, classes and support groups are being planned as part of the supportive services. An added bonus is that other service providers will have space where they can meet potential clients allowing them to access this vulnerable and often hidden population.
Because the weekly hot meal we serve is vital to our women, there will still be a luncheon on Tuesdays at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula. Moving the other critical care services to the Service Center will allow time at the luncheon for more interaction between our guests and volunteers. These relationships are crucial for continuing to build the sense of community and hope that is so important to our guests.
We knew that you would not want us to wait until we have a permanent facility to give more help and support to the women, but this is just a short-term solution. There is no room to offer showers, laundry or meals and we won’t be able to take in donations at the Service Center or move the Pantry for All (our food pantry open three days a week to anyone in need). Spreading out over five locations (Service Center, Luncheon, Prep Kitchen, Storage and Pantry for All) is not ideal and we are continuing our search for a permanent place with zeal.
The ultimate goal is to find a location that will accommodate a 5000 square foot or larger facility for a drop-in Day Center with one-stop for resources serving homeless women on the Monterey Peninsula. A permanent, dedicated facility will allow us to be open even more frequently and offer even more harm reduction services.
Everything we are doing is only possible because of people like you. Many of you donated to us through Monterey County Gives! and we are sure you will be pleased that we received $283,982.51 from the Monterey County Weekly Community Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County as a result of that campaign! Your support, your donations, and your confidence in Gathering for Women are responsible for the Service Center and expanded programing- Thank you!
P.S.- Do you have a property, or know someone who has a property, that you want to talk about with us? Give us a call; maybe you hold the special key we are looking for!