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Update on CHAT Activities for Our Donors and Supporters

May 26, 2021 Dear CHAT Supporter,

We at CHAT want you to know that we are extremely grateful for your financial support. Your help has really made a difference for those struggling to find stable housing in our community. Over this past year, CHAT has seen some major growth in nearly all of our programs. To begin with our housing program for students, we expanded our Redwood Housing for Chico State and Butte College students, where our first student resident, Kyle, recently graduated with a BA in Mathematics from CSU-Chico.

Our first Redwood Housing student resident, Kyle, recently graduated from CSU-Chico with a BA in Mathematics and plans to go into teaching!

We also helped 122 Camp Fire survivors get into housing through our CHAMP program, which is funded by grants from the United Way of Northern California, the California Community Foundation, and Global Giving, an international philanthropic organization that learned of our CHAMP program and reached out to us to help fund it We also continued expanding our HUSH (Hand Up Supportive Housing) program, working intensively with eighteen families to move them from homelessness to housing. This program was just awarded a grant of $280,000 via the federal CDBG (Community Block Development Grants) program, which will allow us to extend this program by another year and a half. We started a new Veterans' House and almost immediately filled it up with four local veterans in a wide age range. And we are continuing to manage our 8-bedroom house for people with severe mental illness, called Harmony House, and we're proud to report that our case manager for that program Kendra Bonner just graduated from CSU-Chico with a BA in social work and will now work on getting a master's degree while continuing to provide excellent case management for Harmony House. Most recently, CHAT, in collaboration with Faith Lutheran Church, has opened a 4-bedroom house for older women with serious health issues. One resident had been living in her car, and another was actually living in a train car before moving into CHAT housing! We are so excited about this program that we have just signed a lease for a second “Mercy House” for people with health issues and/or disabilities.

Residents of Mercy House come together from all different walks of life

In another beautiful collaboration, CHAT worked with the Chico Friends Meeting (Quakers) to shelter a woman suffering from end stage liver disease through the winter in the Quaker Fellowship Hall, which was not being used due to COVID-19. Because of the Quakers, with help from members of Trinity United Methodist Church, this woman was able to live out her final days warm, safe, and cared for, rather than sleeping out in the cold. We are very excited that CHAT recently obtained a new warehouse location for donated furniture and household goods for our CHAT residents, and for others in our community who are moving from homelessness to housing. Just as importantly, the warehouse provides a much-needed home for our very extensive food program. CHAT also took advantage of a great opportunity this past year to purchase our own office building, to accommodate our amazingly rapid growth as an organization.

CHAT volunteers and staff put up wall units in our new warehouse.

Even with all these accomplishments, CHAT never rests. In collaboration with the County, CHAT is working hard to create Everhart Village, an innovative, 20 unit “tiny house” shelter project for Behavioral Health clients who are living unsheltered. These clients are those who really struggle with keeping appointments, eating and sleeping right, and staying on their medications when they are living outside. Everhart Village is a big undertaking for CHAT, but we are moving forward with confidence, knowing we are part of a community that cares.

Bob Trausch of CHAT and Grant Hunsicker of Butte County General Services discuss CHAT's vision for the Everhart Village project with neighboring business owners.

In another exciting new development, CHAT is engaged in a collaboration with Caring Choices and Safe Space to help plan and develop an outdoor shelter project for people living unsheltered in Chico. We'll have more information about that soon! Relying on our 12 employees and our 50+ volunteers, CHAT just keeps growing and taking on new challenges. We presently are housing more than 200 people through our master lease program. As a CHAT donor, in concert with our many other supporters, you have made this all possible. We especially thank those who have become monthly sustaining donors this past year, those who have donated the cost of a tiny house, and those who have remembered CHAT in their estate planning. Thank you with all our hearts for helping us be able to do this great work that we so love doing. On behalf of the CHAT Board of Directors, Leslie Johnson, Executive Director Robert Trausch, Facilities & Operations Manager Sheldon Praiser, Treasurer

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