I have been a volunteer with Project Dignity for about three years. Quite simply, what is offered to those living in motels gives them a chance to hold on to their dignity. An example is the simple necessity of toilet paper. A family of three to six people can all occupy one motel room for a week with just one roll furnished. Project Dignity meets the need with extra rolls. Families without the material means to take special note of holidays such as Valentines Day can brighten their children's lives through the donation of holiday-themed baked treats, courtesy of the continuing donation from a major retail grocery store. Special time that children spend with the Executive Director in crafts and learning activities fills the need for mentoring so valuable to growing minds. Project Dignity is an organization that pays it forward on a day-to-day basis through the little things --and the big commitment of time, logistics, and the belief in the value of each person that those little things represent-- that never let those in need fear that they are invisible and worthless. Project Dignity is love in action.
Review from Guidestar
Project Dignity is a charitable organization that meets people’s real needs right where they live. These people often fall through the cracks of the usual social services programs. They have just enough money to afford week-to-week motel housing, so they are not homeless on the street. But they don’t have enough to make a deposit on long-term rental housing, so they are forced by the motels to move every 28 days to avoid the motel’s having to go through a potential 3-month eviction process of a permanent resident. This also means they don’t have a permanent legal address so their children may be shunned by the schools as not their responsibility.
Project Dignity addresses these issues with hands-on help with food, clothing, healthcare, and compassionate assistance in helping these people deal with these issues and get into permanent housing.
Project Dignity is run by volunteers and has only one or two modestly paid administrative positions, so donations go to the people in need and not over-paid bureaucrats.
Review from Guidestar
Project Dignity is hands-on outreach to the homeless living in residential motels. I have served the working poor through PD for years and have seen the impact personally. Weekly donations of food, clothing, hygiene products and more are not stored but given out to those in need. Our offerings are a boost to individuals and families with the hope of freeing up some of their funds for necessities. We have weekly routes bring car loads of donations to their motel parking lot. We become a constant presence to be expected once a month rain or shine. Relationships are formed if residents do not move from our area of service. As we see immediate needs we can address them with bus passes, gas cards, grocery store and miscellanous gift cards. I have personally made an emergency trip for diapers and formula mid-route to serve a young mother with no transportation. We are given hundreds of croched and patchwork quilts. Children of all ages love them and feel loved through them. PD is "HANDS On" even after we leave!!
Review from Guidestar
Project Dignity is, just that; a non-profit project born out of a desire to see people of all ages and backgrounds, treated with Dignity. There are circumstances that can unfold in our lives that can compromise our ability to pay bills and be able to feed hungry children; especially in today’s economy! Whether it is illness, unemployment, or another problem that causes a family to lose their permanent residence and end up in a local motel, or homeless, Project Dignity has been a true blessing to so many of these families in “transition”. Project Dignity’s Executive Director, Wally Gonzales, is a person with a great mix of Compassion, Advocacy, and Integrity. Wally was trained by another wonderful human being, the late Linda Dunlap, founder of Project Dignity. Wally has never lost what the focus and intent of Project Dignity is, she just leads to help meet the growing needs of the communities that Project Dignity serves. From passing out backpacks, filled with basic essentials, to a homeless individual, or backpacks filled with school supplies to one of the many children Project Dignity serves, there is always great thought and interest taken to help meet the needs that are present in our communities. Families receive bags of food, even when many of the local food banks are struggling. Children delight in the opportunity they have to participate in after school programs and weekend events with Project Dignity volunteers. Project Dignity has assisted many families so they could move out from the motel and into their own apartments! To use a metaphor, if you were caught in an avalanche, tumbling and tumbling down and when you finally stop tumbling, there’s a hand that helps pull you up so you can get your breath, they help you to safety and give you a warm blanket to help you recover from the avalanche that caught you by surprise; Project Dignity is the helping hand, the warm blanket; present when needed, offering services with Dignity and care to many in our communities.
Project Dignity has been involved on many of the local motels. They come in very low key but serving the local motel population in so many areas. We had an issue where our local food pantry was closed so Ms. Wally Gonzales went to the local department and persuaded them to allow it to reopen. This food pantry serves several hundred people per month. Project dignity upon discovering that motel children could not recieve a library card opened a library on site and issues library cards for each child promoting reading ( thru clever ways) the children love. Project dignity makes sure every child has a backpack filled with school supplies at the start of each school year. Project Dignity makes sure every child recieves a Christmas present, and an Easter basket. We have a strict no media ban on our properties and Project Dignity has always adhered to that. The name speaks for itself always treating everyone who has the blessing of meeting Project Dignity with dignity quietly making everyones life better. Project Dignity is a true blessing.
Project Dignity is an amazing non-profit organization. They help many in need that most of us don't even think about and they are the motel families who are the motels for various reasons, some working poor, some homeless, and some just in dire straights. Wally Gonzales, who is the Executive Director, is very dedicated to running this non-profit in a way that exemplifies true character, love and dependability. PD does just what their name implies, they give love and dignity in situations that can be very humiliating for some people especially right now in California when unemployment is so high.
Review from Guidestar