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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services

Mission: With love, respect and compassion, the franciscan workers of junipero serra provide essential services and transitional support to people experiencing the injustice of homelessness and extreme poverty.

Programs: Dorothy's kitchen: the kitchen feeds the hungry through a no charge, no obligation (other than good behavior) and no discrimination program of providing hot, nutritious and appealing breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. The kitchen doe snot ask for names or identification. Anyone visiting the kitchen is treated as a guest. In the 2014 program year, we reported more than 2,500 people served in the kitchen program, with 94,000 meals served. Prevention: the prevention program is comprised of the drop-in center, @risk gallery and st. Clare's corner. The drop-in center is a day shelter designed to be a gathering place where homeless, marginalized, and others who are our guests can socialize. They may also take care of basic hygiene needs (shower & laundry), be treated at our weekly health clinic, and access other services that are geared towards helping them live with greater dignity (mail, phone, clothing, activities and volunteering). Our @risk gallery offers studio space and a gallery to display artwork by guests of dorothy's place and other partners. We offer art activities as therapy and creative stimulation for our homeless guests. St. Clare's corner is an extension pantry of the food bank for monterey county, offering supplemental food for more than 260 farm worker families during the months of october through may, as well as clothing and household items. Women alive: the primary objective of the women alive program is to create a safe, non-judgmental, nurturing space for women beginning with an emergency overnight shelter. Currently women alive is the only no-questions-asked emergency walk-in shelter for street women in monterey county. We served 152 women in 2014 (unduplicated) with a dinner meal and overnight shelter, and another 10-15 women nightly that eat dinner, shower and do laundry, but don't stay overnight. Our shelter staff assisted women with housing, drug treatment referrals, mental health referrals, ids, critical transportation, employment counseling and access to health services. House of peace transitional residence program offers life skills, health and housing connections from chronically homeless single unaccompanied adults. Capacity is 12 adults. House of peace transitional residence: program that promotes and provides safety, stability, and wellbeing for 12 adults who have experienced chronic homelessness. Provides structure and supportive services including emotional support, linkage to community resources, educational direction, financial and literacy programs, as well as assistance with benefit applications, employment readiness, and job searches.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!

Review from Guidestar

Ravi I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar