Bank on it! "Homeless Quarters"
Program a BIG boost for KC Homeless
Ending homelessness has been the key objective for CalState Sociology professor, Dr. Russ Travis, who crafted the terrific "Homeless Quarters" program two years ago-and, as it grows, it is making major hits on his target. 100% of ALL money collected from those little house-shaped plastic banks goes directly toward reducing homelessness locally!
In a great pre-holiday initiative, the Homeless Quarters program provided over $3,000 in November to meet urgent immediate requirements of several BHC homeless clients identified by BHC and the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance Program (GBLA) including critical help to remove recovery obstacles for four BHC families: among these, a critical housing deposit, car insurance, PG&E payments and BHC Job Development Program support funds to help meet Driver's License requirements/transportation and other needs. .
The unique and inspirational Homeless Quarters Program will soon have 150 plastic banks placed in stores and restaurants through Bakersfield. It is projected that a total of nearly $10,000 will be raised by the end of this year.
The program is now ready to begin expanding even more. Dr. Travis has advised that his organization now includes a working Board of Directors (up to 10 members) and each member is responsible for placing and monitoring up to 10 new banks. The organization has also formed a "Homeless Quarters' Community Corps" which will consist of volunteers across the community that will place and monitor (picking up the coinage every 3 - 4 weeks) a minimum of 10 banks each. The 2005 target for the organization will be a total of between 200-250 banks by the end of next year. Volunteers are needed for this program and can sign up by calling Dr. Travis at 664-3159 or E-mailing him at: Russell_Travis@firstclass1.cusbak.edu.
And, there's more!…in order to assist in the educational process of raising the consciousness and knowledge level of elementary students about homelessness and helping, The Homeless Quarters program is looking to providing lesson plans on the topic of homelessness which teachers can utilize in the classroom, as well as a fund-raising option utilizing a couple of really, really sharp items: #1, a classroom Jelly jar with the logo "Helping Others Out Of A Jam" through which each child could get involved in a "hands-on" way by taking home jar to fill up with change over the semester; and, #2 would be an alternate take-home with a logo that reads "Helping Others Out Of A Pickle" (this would feature a Base Runner being chased by an angry Baseball(!) - Dr. Travis thinks that might make for a little friendly competition between "the Jams" and "the Pickles" to "juice up" these activities!
What a great initiative! Thank you Russ Travis and "Homeless Quarters"!