Homeless Quarters - United we stand against homelessness in America!

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Helping the Homeless Help ThemselvesVolume 14, Number 10, February 2005
Bakersfield Homeless Center Newsletter
I LOVE it!
“I LOVE it!” BHC client children ALL got one.
What a treat!
“What a treat!” Thank you Homeless Quarters and Mr/Mrs. Anonymous for your really generous donation of nearly 500 children and adult T-shirts. Dr. Russ Travis, Homeless Quarters founder, and board member Regina Benavides (left, rear) and BHC Resource Chief Judy Ardray assisted with the distribution.

BHC CHILDREN ‘T’-ING UP FOR SPRING THANKS TO HOMELESS QUARTERS PROGRAM!

T-shirts—kids love ‘em! BHC client families and other homeless in the Bakersfield community got a lot of GREAT and really fun ones last month thanks to an anonymous donor and the Homeless Quarters program.

Where did they come from? Come on…you’ve bought more than a couple, we know it! “Bakersfield—A Riverbed Runs Through It”, “God Created Bakersfield in six Days…and, on the seventh Day He Roasted”; “Oildale University”; I Love It When You Talk Crude and, one for the books (from 1991): “Rulers Are Made To Be Broken” with a red, crossed-out picture of Sadaam Hussein! We haven’t found any that say “A Way Up” yet, but I bet we do!

If you didn’t know it before: For more than a decade, Bakersfield Homeless Quarters founder, Dr. Russ Travis, Professor of Sociology at Cal State Bakersfield, and his family created and produced those fantastic T-Shirts you whipped off to your relatives in Omaha and elsewhere. A couple of years ago, deep into expanding his initiative helping to end homelessness in Bakersfield and across the country, Dr. Travis slowed down on T-Shirts, reduced his inventory and organized a public sale as a fund-raiser that only raised around five hundred dollars.

A couple of months ago, Dr. Travis planned to give it another go and arranged to have a second annual T-Shirt sale to raise additional money for the Homeless Quarters program. Guess what: according to Dr. Travis, “a community member offered to give us $1,000 (!) and asked that we give the shirts instead to homeless people. It turned out to be a win-winwin situation: it saved us the trouble of having the sale; the T-Shirts are going to people who can really use them; AND, we have $1,000 MORE that can be used to get homeless people back into their homes!”

BHC and other homeless support organizations in Bakersfield were key beneficiaries of the Homeless Quarters Program last year. The local non-profit raises funds from direct cash donations into those little house-shaped plastic banks—more than 150 are now placed in stores and restaurants through our community with a total of 250 expected in place by the end of the year. 100% of all funds raised go directly to reducing homelessness locally. Dr. Travis is projecting that around $15,000 will be raised by the end of 2005.

And, there’s more! The Homeless Quarters program has now moved ahead with a new initiative, to provide lesson plans for elementary students in the community to assist in raising children’s consciousness and knowledge levels about homelessness. Two graduate students enrolled in the Masters program within the CSUB School of Education have recently volunteered to help create lesson plans in compliance with State standards and expectations. Boosting the effort will be #1, “Helping Others out of a Jam” and #2, “Helping others out of a Pickle” classroom Jelly and Pickle Jars (for coins)—As we noted a couple months ago, Dr. Travis thinks they will provide a little friendly competition between “the Jams” and “the Pickles” to “juice up” the studies and contributions!

One more thing: the Homeless Quarters program needs steady volunteers to assist in placement of those wonderful coin jars around town. If you’re interested in helping, you can sign up by calling Dr. Travis at 664-3159 or E-mailing him at: rtravis@csub.edu!


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