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May Newsletter
May 4th, 2020

Donate4Sacramento Mini Grants

To assist in COVID-19 relief, seven of our HART organizations have received mini grants to fund their projects. These HARTs were each awarded $3,000 and are performing various relief projects. For example, both Midtown and Carmichael HART have partnered with local Togo's restaurants to hand out 150 sandwiches a week to their homeless neighbors. HART of Folsom, Carmichael HART, Citrus Heights HART, Arden Arcade HART, and Rancho Cordova HART have also received the funds and have all come up with different ways of using this money, such as handing out restaurant gift cards, making lunches, putting together hygiene kits, designing their own hand washing stations, and much more. Citrus Heights HART has partnered with different local food trucks to give their clients meal vouchers which helps both the local businesses and the people receiving the meals.


Guest Editorial
Anna Lam

Dear Reader,

 

Before introducing myself, I would first like to thank you for the support you have shown your local HART group. Especially in the midst of the current pandemic, your kindness is special and goes a long way. I ask that you recognize the impact you have on the lives of our friends and neighbors who do not have a place to call home. I will ask more of you throughout this letter.

 

My name is Anna. Some of you may remember me, and some of you have never met me! I used to work as an Americorps VISTA with Sacramento Self-Help Housing (SSHH), the nonprofit that plays an active role in these wonderful HART groups, and with Ken Bennett, my mentor and favorite person who has dedicated his life to this impactful work. After my service term, I continued as Development Assistant and Lead Intake Coordinator. I loved my job deeply and undoubtedly grew to adore Ken and his witty humor.

 

I still remember my first day on the job, which also happened to be the first day of the Sacramento County Winter Shelter. We were in Moe’s Warehouse on C Street across from Friendship Park. As I hustled around, Carla stopped me in my tracks. Carla was a woman in her sixties, her wrinkles deep and happy, and her hands firmly grasping my own. I will never forget how she looked straight into my eyes, smiled with such sincerity, and said “thank you”. It left me humbled, conflicted, and determined. My job was part of a transient solution to a larger problem, and I felt that I did not deserve her gratitude - perhaps you, too, have experienced something similar... I have since been on a journey to find solutions for Carla and others who I met at the County and HART winter sanctuaries.

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Remembering our Friend John Thompson


Dear HART Family,
 
It is with great sadness that we share the news that John Thompson of Rancho Cordova HART passed away a few weeks ago.
 
John was one of the original founders of HART in Rancho Cordova and has served on the Board of Directors every year since.
 
His kindness and selfless service and dedication will not be forgotten and his example will live on forever. Our condolences extend to his family and friends at this time.  

A Message from the President of Elk Grove HART

 

A Storm in the Forecast?

We are all feeling the pressure, the compression from the stay at home order. In the Natomas area three teenagers have died by suicide. If you didn’t have a firm foundation before all of this chaos started, you most likely don’t have one now.
 
Frankly, what lies ahead looks daunting and overwhelming, just like it did 10 years ago. Elk Grove was one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, set up to crash hard. The housing market dropped and Elk Grove experienced a whole new population of people without housing, including construction workers, plumbers, electricians and new homeowners.
 
We started HART then, knowing that we somehow needed to help. We have come a long way since then and are now much more prepared for the storm that may be on its way. I would naively like to believe that there is no storm in the forecast, but I don’t think that is the case.  In the last week alone, Elk Grove HART received calls from three families that have recently been displaced, two of them due to domestic violence.
 
As we brace for this storm, we are working closely with the City Of Elk Grove, area churches, other nonprofits, Elk Grove Food Bank Services, and Sacramento Self Help Housing. We are a united front that will work together and take this on one day at a time, one family at a time, one person at a time. This is not a time to be fearful but a time to look back and celebrate the fact that we did it once and we can definitely do it again - this time even better!
 
If you want to be the greatest one, then live as one called to serve others. Mark 10:43
 

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