Committee On The Shelterless

Rating: 4.78 stars   41 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 900 Hopper Street Petaluma CA 94952 USA

Mission: COTS offers help and hope to homeless persons in Sonoma County by providing safe shelter and housing, helping people develop steady incomes and helping them get back under a roof of their own. We also help homeless families become stable and break the cycle of homelessness by teaching homeless parents to make their children''s needs a high priority and to provide a safe, loving and secure home for their children.
Results: We’ve helped over 15,000 homeless people and have saved hundreds of lives. Many of our program participants have gone on to have fabulous lives!
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2000
Geographic areas served: Northern California
Programs: Center for Homeless Children and their Families: a 35-bed year round emergency shelter for families with children, which provides shelter, food, and intensive assessment /case management services from resource advising staff for up to 60 days.Children's Haven: Located at the Center for Homeless Children and their Families, the Children's Haven program offers licensed day care and other comprehensive services to sheltered children and their parents, including parenting training, counseling and assessment.Church/Synagogue Emergency Shelter Program: Coordinated by COTS staff, up to 20 congregations provide companionship, food and up to 12 additional sleeping spaces to homeless families during the school year.Mary Isaak Center: Year round emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless adults. 100 emergency shelter beds, 30+ transitional housing beds, clinic, case management, work program offered. Provides showers, laundry, message center, telephone, mail and locker services. In addition, counselors and resource advisors provide assistance with employment referrals, training in personal hygiene, housing referrals, counseling, assistance with substance abuse issues, and referrals for health care.Shared and Transitional housing for previously homeless families and singles using 12 residences in Petaluma and Rohnert Park. Provides safe, affordable housing in a mutually supportive, service enriched living environment.The Family Connection provides after shelter support for formerly homeless families.The Petaluma Kitchen provides hot meals every day to needy community members.
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

We have just returned from COTS annual fundraising breakfast where over 600 people from the community came to hear about the important work COTS does to put homeless and vulnerable adults and children back on their feet, in a safe environment, restoring their self-esteem and self-confidence. The results are so positive and so powerful that there isn't a big enough meeting hall in the city to accommodate all the people that want to be part of helping COTS address this critical human need. They come to pledge funds not just for one year or two years, but five years so that COTS can develop longer term plans to help their many clients.

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

In our daily lives we have encountered and come to know quite well a number of adults who have found a way to reconnect with society and become positive, contributing citizens after falling so far that they had no longer believed such an outcome to be possible. It is extraordinarily inspiring to see men and women and children, too, who had given up hope and then found they had capacities they didn't know existed...capacity to help themselves and, perhaps even more importantly, to help others as well.

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

We would try to find more ways to leverage the success they have achieved in Petaluma and Sonoma County, California. To our knowledge, no other similar organization has been more successful in moving clients back into the community as successful, independent persons. We would so like to see this capacity effectively transferred to other organizations addressing the issues of hunger and homelessness.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

It began with small gifts...an entree cooked once a month for COTS clients. Over time as the positive results were more and more apparent our contributions increased so that now we give as much as we can afford each year.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Because the need is always there, we reaffirmed our 5-year pledge.

What would you tell others about this organization?

We try very hard to donate to non-profits that will make good, efficient use of the donation. Of all the organizations we contribute to, we believe that none makes better use of the money they have to work with.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Petaluma is lucky to have COTS. COTS does amazing work in a multifaceted way to help teh homeless inour community. I'm proud to be a donor.

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

I've known fmailies taht were able to escape homeless with teh help of COTS.

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

Get it more funding

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have always been proud to serve COTS with donations -- food, clothing, furniture, raffle prizes for events -- it is a fabulous group of men and women who really stand behind what they are dong to help our community. They get individuals and families back on their feet and offer respect and admiration in the process. They are such an instrumental part of Petaluma's community spirit!

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

I've been present when they are packing up the goods for the Holiday donations. Amazing!

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

move them to a new site -- only, they just did and it's phenomenal!

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

COTS really does save lives one person at a time. They understand the issues that create homelessness and cure the problem from the inside out. They run as a top rate business but cure people like a top rate charity. They are the most educated and caring community you can have. Petaluma is fortunate to have COTS part of the local infastructure. They are the most caring and supportive group you can find!

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

so many ways. These people are the real deal. They really do turn people's lives around and creat an invironment where people can succeed to the best of there abitities.

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

Give them even more staff and a new family center.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How they connect with donors, volunteers and clients alike. It really is a big family.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from every walk of life with a common goal of helping each person who walks through there door!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Stop homlessness for ever!

Ways to make it better...

They had more funds to continue there great work.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I LOVE COTS!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

My friend and her family ended up at COTS a number of years ago. They were helped with shelter at first, education and eventually with food assistance when they were out of the shelter. Many people in Petaluma have used a COTS program or volunteered at COTS. They are a staple in our community. I give what I can to COTS now and feel confident that the money and supplies that I give are well used.

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

my confidence that my money or supplies are going to be put to good use.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professional but caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change how all homeless shelters in the US were run and do more homeless prevention.

Ways to make it better...

I could do more and it was a bit easier to donate stuff.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding and the lack of treatment for mental health and addiction treatment.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I have experience in nonprofit world and I own a business. Using my experience, I can see how much they do with so little.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

We are fortunate to have so many fine organizations and individuals doing such great work in our community. COTS is especially deserving of our attention because it works, and addresses needs at the most fundamental levels. In this New Year, I would encourage everyone to take a moment and check out some of their fine programs and consider suppoorting COTS.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, but that's probably not unusual in most non-profit environments. What is exceptional is the effectiveness of their programs which are aimed at the most basic of human needs... shelter, food, and counseling helping clients back to self-reliance.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

My experience is as a donor and fundraiser. My enthusiasm the work increases continually along with my admiration for the organization and its mission. COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) aids and trains derailed individuals/families in the economic basics and life skills necessary to stabilize into self sufficient lives. The staff and volunteers of this organization truly have "linebacker eyes and Peace Corps hearts." They perform the mission with impeccable efficiency and accountatility to donors and stakeholders.

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

. . . "franchise it."

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

. . . witnessing the effectiveness of the work and service it performs in the community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

. . . uniformly competent, highly motivated, and from unusually diverse backgrounds, including numbers of former clients now "giving back."

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

. . . leverage and export it's knowledge to help thousands more with high efficiency; broaden its services locally.

Ways to make it better...

. . . I had more time to give.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

. . . the client load in this staggered economy, and the competition for funds to continue the work.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
Flag review