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CHAT News: Welcome to Everhart, Ways to help, A generous gift, Year in review

We never stop creating affordable housing options for folks in Chico.

Hello, to our wonderful supporters!

As we wrap up 2023, I cannot help but feel incredibly thankful for what has been a rewarding trip around the sun. Thanks in large part to our generous supporters and volunteers, this was the year CHAT was able to complete Everhart Village! A week ago today, we welcomed the public to the village during our Community Open House (check out some photos below). In the coming weeks, individuals referred by Butte County Behavioral Health will move into EV's cozy cabins, which are situated adjacent to an array of supportive services they'll need to succeed. We are excited to begin transforming the lives of chronically homeless people with mental illness diagnoses, one of the most challenging populations to transition out of life on the streets and into safe, permanent housing. I want to thank you for supporting CHAT's efforts to better the community, and I hope you will continue to do so as we embark on the journey ahead. Finally, during this holiday season, I wish you peace, joy and health. Happy New Year! 

Sincerely,

Nicole Drummond, CHAT executive director


Welcome to Everhart Village! 

CHAT Executive Director Nicole Drummond cuts the ceremonial ribbon at Everhart Village with a little help from CHAT's friends. 


We did it! Last Friday (Dec. 15), representatives from CHAT and Butte County Behavioral Health joined generous donors, volunteers and others in opening the proverbial doors of Everhart Village! We're not sure we've ever seen so many smiling faces in one place. It was a joyous occasion, indeed!


The celebration was big news in Butte County. Check out the local media coverage: Chico Enterprise-Record, Action News Now, and KNVN. You can also learn more about Everhart Village here

Bob Trausch and Leslie Johnson celebrate with Housing Authority Executive Director Ed Mayer (left).


Smiles for miles: As CHAT co-founder Leslie Johnson noted that day, the late Dan Everhart, for whom the village is named, would be thrilled about the completion of this amazingly innovative (and beautiful!) project. Our sincerest thanks go out to every person who helped make this vision a reality.

CHAT Office Manager Amanda Starkey gets comfy in one of EV's cute cabins. 

 

Home, sweet home: Among the finishing touches at Everhart Village are the gorgeous handmade quilts adorning each bed. These lovingly crafted, functional works of art were donated by the wonderful folks at Annie's Star Quilt Guild, and we are certain they will warm the villagers' bodies and hearts. Thank you, Guild members!

Assistant Director of Social Services Caitlyn Patterson admires the new pathway and garden. 


Planted with care: Additional thanks to our friends at the Butte County Local Food Network for their efforts at Everhart Village, including the amazing brick and paver work and the planting of the village's first garden. We cannot wait to see the plants bloom! 


So many volunteers, partnering agencies, businesses and organizations had a role in turning a dirt lot into a warm, welcoming village. We are forever grateful for each of your contributions, large and small! 


Cooks wanted!


Made with love: With construction at Everhart Village complete, and the pomp and pageantry behind us, it's almost time to begin welcoming villagers and changing lives.


Next up, we're finalizing the details of the support services needed on-site. This includes recruiting volunteers to regularly provide and cook a meal for 20 villagers once a month. 


If you get joy from creating delicious meals for people, and would like to help Everhart Village run smoothly by providing a monthly meal for its villagers, contact CHAT Assistant Director of Social Services Caitlyn Patterson at 530-715-7341 or caitlyn@chicohousingactionteam.net.  


Another way to help


In the details: It's almost move-in time for the inaugural group of Everhart Villagers, an exciting step in their journey to stable housing. But first, we're trying to stock everything CHAT and the villagers need for a smoothly run operation. We're talking things like bulk shampoo and conditioner, and other necessities. 


You can help! Visit our Amazon wishlist to see what the village is missing, and, if you are able, please consider making a purchase. 


A generous gift


How sweet it is: We were incredibly honored to be chosen by Sweet Flower as the recipient of a $10,000 donation! The gift came on the dispensary's one-year anniversary.


As CHAT Executive Director Nicole Drummond said, "We were just really grateful for hopefully an ongoing partnership with a local business ... that's dedicated to supporting our community, and so we felt very grateful to be chosen by an independent advisory board to be the nonprofit that's doing good work." 


Thank you, Sweet Flower, for giving back to your community by supporting the local, affordable housing provided by CHAT. And congrats on your anniversary! 


You can read more about the donation on KRCR's website.


Helpers needed


Friends in need: Safe Space Chico is in search of volunteers for their seasonal, low-barrier shelter that opened its doors this week. This winter operation is a critical service in town, offering overnight accommodations to folks who'd otherwise sleep on the streets or in their cars during dangerously cold and wet weather. 


For information on volunteering, go to www.safespacechico.org.


CHAT's year in review


Looking back: Perhaps our biggest news of 2023 was the completion of Everhart Village. Then again, we also celebrated a milestone anniversary: 10 years of providing our community with local, affordable housing. That was cause for celebration, which is exactly what we did during our (sold out!) Housing For All anniversary party and fundraiser in November. The same month, Mayor Andrew Coolidge presented CHAT with a city proclamation! We could go on and on ... but there simply is too much to list. 


Indeed, those are just the highlights of what CHAT accomplished in 2023. Behind the scenes, we served nearly 300 residents through our existing programs within the community. 


Looking forward: Of course, we could not do this work without your support, which is why we hope that you will consider making a year-end donation that will help sustain and expand our programs in 2024. Together, we can create a community where everyone has a home. 



As always, thank you for reading. Please consider forwarding this email to friends, colleagues, and family members who might be interested in helping CHAT further local affordable housing solutions. 



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