FRANCISCAN WORKERS OF JUNIPERO SERRA

Rating: 4.57 stars   7 reviews 137

Issues: Human Services

Location: PO Box 2027 Salinas CA 93902 USA

Mission:
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EIN 77-0081240

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Community Reviews

Rating: 2 stars  

In many instances, Dorothy's Place is a boon to the community. I myself was fed and clothed by this organization for difficult years. As I learn more and more about the inner workings, however, I find that this organization has a multitude of self-inflcted problems. The Development director, Jill Allen is top notch, along with the administrative assistant Jessica Mayer. Both work very hard to raise funding and to straighten out problems. I have not been impressed with the rest of the management team, however. The management team tends to bury or ignore problems rather than facing them head-on. The willingness to take responsibility for important programs is lacking. Cronyism and nepotisim definite problems. Persons are protected in their jobs when they should be dismissed for poor performance. The Women Alive! shelter program is a prime example. Having been a client of other shelters, I am aware that there are always problems with substance abuse, theft, and violence. The Women Alive! program could take many pointers from these programs and listen to those they serve, but they choose not to do so. These women cannot get a decent nights sleep, many do not bathe when there are facilities available, theft is rampant, control of the area is sadly lacking with women wandering in and out all night, and drug use is allowed right there in the facility. As with this program and others, constructive criticism falls on deaf ears. What is needed is a much more professional approach in recruiting staff members and much greater accountability. Any sort of such accountability is shunned by the majority of the management team. Many problems are not due to lack of funds -- only lack of imagination.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was fed and clothed for 5 years. I also recieved blankets and sleeping bags. When I came off the street, one worker took a personal interest and concrete action to assist me in getting back into society.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Institute clear realistic goals for both programs and projects. Make sure that there were competent people running those projects. Dismiss those who could not meet the requirements for fullfilling their job functions. Especially, I would get rid of those who were consciously or unconsciously harming the mission of the organization. If someone is causing harm, dismiss them immediately. There are many qualified persons looking for work and would be glad to work here.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unsure

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

Through another emergency shelter program. Just by chance.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

At least one staff member, Jill Allen, has helped me greatly. She has given me the opportunity, through their micro-enterprise program to exercise my skills in organization, management, and creativity to greatly enhance the long existing but stagnant program. This has been a great help to me, to the other workers, and I believe to Dorothy's as a whole.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My wife and I started volunteering by making sandwiches for the homeless who visited Franciscan Workers. Over the past 25 years we have continued our involvement as volunteers and as members of the board of directors. Our clients are the homeless who have nothing ,and also the economically challenged who run out of money during the month.
We cook about 40 turkeys a year for their thanksgiving meal. We have served dinner to our guests and have dined with them. What is interesting is their comraderie toward each other. Many have recovered from addictions and some are mentally unbalanced. I remember eathing with a blind guest who had at one time been able to see. The other guests served him, arranged the plate and glass so he would not spill and put the fork in his hand and moved it to the plate. All our very polite at meal time and use good manners.

I once lent $500.00 to one of our guests as he needed to purchase a car to find work. I had no expectation of repayment. However, two years later my receptionist called and told me a man and a dog were in my office to see me. It was the man I lent the money and he carefully counted out $500.00 that he owed.

There was a man who was one of our guests and he expressed a desire to go to his daughters graduation from college in a distant town. He had not been a good father what with his addictions but was now sober and wanted this very much. We purchased a suit and shoes along with a bus ticket and he made it. He later showed us pictures of himself with his daughter and family members at the graduation.

We try and give our guests a sense of self worth and a feeling of dignity. So many have been beaten down. We have now opened a woman's shelter so that homeless women will be safe and not victimized on the street. They love the idea of a meal and a chance to sleep safely. We run tutor programs in the labor camps and now the parents become involved in helping their children. I sometimes wonder ...what if there were no Franciscan Workers. We are not affiliated with the catholic church and are supported by many denominations including the Jewish Temple and The Buddhists

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our guests have prospered in their daily lives by counseling, reunion with their families, and receiving a sense of worth and respect. Everyone one of them want to do better and become self-sustaining which may not be possible for all. However, our guests look upon Franciscan Workers ( Dorothy's Place) as their home and their community

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

enlist the support of more leaders in the community who could publish our work and help raise money which is always in short supply. There is never enough.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Although I always gave cash, food, clothes and misc donations to this organization, I had never actually volunteered my time. Then in one of their newsletters I saw they were looking for people to "adopt a room" as they were converting the upstairs of Dorothy's Place to a shelter for those that were in a Gold Star Program. My coworker Andrea and myself quickly contacted Jill and she set us up. (Jill is awesome!! Lots of patience in educatng us about the homeless!)

We had so much fun painting, furnishing and decorating the bedrooms. We got to work hand in hand with the people that would soon be occupying these bedrooms. They were such a pleasure to work with. They helped with painting, clean up, moving furniture.... anything that was needed. And that wasn't only for their rooms, but for any room or anybody in the shelter that needed their help.

They were so appreciative of our time and donations. Thanking us over and over and over. Their excitment was such a joy to see. They were like little kids at Christmas! We felt like proud Momma's!

If you have never volunteered at Dorothy's, make a commitment to go at least once. I finally did and now I know I must go back to help. They need us, not just things.

To serve God is to serve others.
Love & Light!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The shelter upstairs of Dorothy's place is now a beautiful, warm home for numerous homeless people who are working very hard to transition out on their own someday. From what it was before, to what it is now, unbelievable. There are not only bedrooms upstairs, but a kitchen, dinning room, chapel, showers, etc. It is a home for them. They are a family working together to make their lives better. And the staff is fantastic. So committed. Bless them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

the organization is great.....no changes. What they need is more assistance from everybody so they can continue to improve the building, day room, laundry room, showers downstairs, office, etc. etc. etc.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I visited as part of a student group and have come back twice since then due to the amazing educational experience provided. It nourishes my soul to be there and reminds me of what is truly important in life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

educating youth about homelessness

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand it so that more people had the opportunity to learn from them.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My first experience with Dorothy's Place was through an alternative spring break trip sponsored by USC's volunteer center, and within that week I absolutely fell in love with the organization's mission, values, and its people. I found a second home in Salinas. Naturally, I returned to intern with the Franciscan Workers that following summer and after graduating from college I completed a short stint working with Jill Allen in the administration office. I'm thankful for the opportunities the Franciscan Workers have given me, and am looking forward to visiting them in the future.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my encounters with the guests that have welcomed me into their home, creating life-long friendships. I foresee many future visits to Dorothy's to create mosaics, attend open-mic nights and enjoy a lunch or two with my second family.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase employees and volunteers so that regular programs offered to guests can be increased to cover various interests

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My husband and I were just asked to be on the Board for the Franciscans Workers of Junipero Serra just within the last few months. As Board Members we do not have alot of experience yet, but as community members who have always known about the organization that serves our community, the community that we love, we have alot of experience. My first time at Dorthys was when I worked with Severly Handicapped adults many years ago and as one of our job training sites, we came to Dorothy's Kitchen to do things like clean tables, set tables and prepare food. The young adults I worked with loved coming and so did I. I began to see how important Dorthys was to our community. I began to learn about the people who needed this amazing service. People just like me, people who deserved a chance to be treated with respect and I saw that at Dorothy's they got it. It is an amazing place where people have opportunities to rebuild their lives by building their self esteem and learning job skills and other important things. I also feel that it gives people in our community a chance to serve and give and teach their kids the importance of loving all people.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

collecting donations and bringing them to the people who need them. We do actually have a family member who is taking advantage of the services provided there. We pray that he will get back on his feet and we are thankful that he can go the The Franciscan Workers for help.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it bigger!!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked for 3 years in the department of social services. It was my pleasure to refer customers to Dorothy's Kitchen as it had a long reputation for service and giving.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Feedback from the homeless was always positive and they appreciated Dorothy's Place.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would probably answer my emails more often.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

Used to work in Social Services. They were always first on the list.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

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