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.
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.