It was a Saturday, over 110 degrees in Stockton, and the CAPC staff was greeted through the window of a camper by 5-year old Tina. Bags of ice are what it took to have them open the door of the dilapidated camper on the levee in downtown Stockton that she called home. This was her home for the past seven months after a series of unfortunate events left the family of six homeless, and struggling to survive.
The day before, the CAPC had encountered the family during one of the homeless outreach activities coordinated by the D.A’s office. Having been betrayed by unscrupulous property owners, confused by the complex regulations governing the safety nets intended to help them, and living in fear for the safety of their children while on the streets, TRUST was not easily given.
After much listening and empathizing, CAPC staff, Stephanie, was able to convince the family that we were there to help them. Slowly, but surely, by showing up every day with small, thoughtful items that met their immediate needs, the parents placed their TRUST in Stephanie and the CAPC.
Within a week, due to the heroic efforts of CAPC and Visionary Homes staff, the family of 6 moved into a 3-bedroom apartment in North Stockton.
A generous donation to the CAPC’s HOME program through United Way helped pave the way for this family, and others to come, from a life of homelessness and hopelessness to one with the promise of a better future.
HOME collaborates with community partners to locate homeless families with children, build relationships and TRUST, connect them services and help draft and implement a plan to take them for living on the streets to finding a permanent and safe place to call home.
These and other stories can only be told because of the support of our generous donors, like you. Please consider supporting these TRUST-building efforts with a year-end donation. Your gift will help the Child Abuse Prevention Council keep its commitment to giving every child the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving environment.
Protecting children and strengthening families all starts with TRUST. This is what the CAPC does!
Imagine you are a child moving from home to home till one day you are sitting on the bank of the levee in a homeless encampment. There are strangers coming by with masks to check on you, talking about a scary illness and how important it is for us to wash our hands. You are so thankful to have mom and dad with you, but even at your young age of 5 you know that dad ‘s seizure’s and mom’s disability makes it really hard to get handwashing water, drinking water, and sometimes food.
Here at the CAPC, we talk about the importance of TRUST. And here we encountered a family scared of having their babies taken away because they are homeless, a child who is scared and worried about water and food. Little Tina touched our hearts every day we came to visit. Her overwhelming excitement for the necessities that CAPC staffer, Stephanie would bring – simple things like a toothbrush, a fun facemask, socks, made us all smile.
The one-week journey for Tina’s family from homeless to housing was an extremely fast and extensive process. While Visionary Homes worked steadily to get the duplex move in ready, the CAPC worked with the family and our community partners to ensure all required documentation was in order. The task then turned to furnishing the duplex. Thanks to First Baptist Church Safe Family’s network, with one email, we were able to secure many of the household items. Furniture was donated by 209 Furniture and Love’s Treasures. Toiletries and personal hygiene items were purchased with donations from United Way. This was truly a demonstration of a community working together.
But the most powerful story was Tina walking into her new home for the first time. Stephanie and her co-workers had to swallow their tears as they heard Tina excitedly exclaim “We have beds! We have beds!” when she entered the room. She was reacting to fresh linens and pillows meticulously laid on the floor because the ordered beds were late to arrive. Yet our little Tina was so thankful.
COVID has hit this community very hard, and we are finding families with kids, like Tina and her 3 siblings – families that would have never been on the street. The families in the HOME program just need a helping hand to get through unexpected barriers and financial crisis to better position themself for success.
So again, we talk about the importance of TRUST. The trust of a 5-year-old little girl with a sparkle in her eye. The TRUST of a family building relationships to help them restore the dignity that they had lost. And the TRUST of a DONOR like you that continues to give to the CAPC.
Protecting children and strengthening families. This is what we do, TOGETHER!