Meriwest Credit Union | 877-MERIWEST (877) 637-4937 | Routing Number 321176833

11:01 AM

Charity of the Month: Abode Services

”Meriwest
Published Feb. 9, 2017

“I am living now, not surviving,” a woman who uses Abode Services said. “There is a big difference between the two. Now I can take care of myself, and if I struggle I have a case manager I can go and talk with. A whole new world has opened up for me. I feel 10 million times better.”


This is just one example of the help provided by Abode Services, which is one of the largest and most effective Bay Area nonprofits fighting to end homelessness, Abode Services Community Landlord Retention Coordinator Audrey Kwon said.

This past January, Meriwest’s mortgage department collected 520 pounds worth of donations, including eight sleeping bags, plus $1,800 in cash, which will go towards Abode’s efforts. This amount of cash feeds 180 people for the whole day. (Abode serves three meals per day, plus bag lunches and snacks two times per day.) The organization also uses the evidence-based Housing First approach to help homeless people.

“This places people into stable housing from the start and provides wrap-around, intensive services and case management to ensure they stay housed,” Kwan said. “Our reputation and trust we receive from the community are firmly founded in our results and impact. For many of our participants, we provide necessary support to take the first, firm step toward a better life replete with stability and dignity. Participant testimonies echo sentiments of gratitude as well as renewed hope and determination to build on their success.”

Meriwest Mortgage Specialist L.J. Grossweiler said the department picked this particular charity because “we are in the business of putting people into homes and we are sad not everyone is able to have a home. We wanted to help people who are on the other side of the story.”

“Everyone experiences the homeless population, whether it’s being asked for money at a traffic stop or passing a homeless encampment,” Grossweiler said. “Our efforts to help Abode have been very, very successful. How we asked for donations made it easier. For those who wanted to declutter, we asked them to clean out their closets and donate any clothing items they don’t want, for those who like to shop we had a silent auction and for those who just wanted to give money, we had a donation bowl.”

Mortgage Administrative Assistant Kristen Shirley said it was fulfilling to see so many people come together to support a just cause.

“The most rewarding part was seeing Meriwest employees, friends and family members give their time and efforts to help raise the money and bring in the donations,” Shirley said.

Kwon said community partners are crucial to Abode’s efforts.

“Volunteer groups can prepare and serve hot meals, take on special projects to revamp and beautify the premise, or help sort and store donated items,” she said. “We greatly benefit from community involvement to tackle projects for which we do not have programmatic capacity.”

More information:

Here are some statistics provided by Abode regarding the help they provide:

- 2,200 individuals housed on a given night, instead of being homeless
- 4,600 individuals receiving housing and supportive services per year
- 5,074 individuals placed into permanent housing since 2010
- In December 2016, 42% of Sunrise Village Emergency Shelter participants successfully exited into permanent housing.
- 98% of households in Abode Services’ permanent supportive programs maintain stable housing

Interested in helping Abode Services? There are several ways to support them and their mission to end homelessness:

a) Stay in the know: Sign up for their monthly e-newsletter. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
b) Make a financial or in-kind contribution today. Check out their Wish List
c) Lend a helping hand in person
d) Refer a community landlord! If you or someone you know has a vacancy, Abode Services is interested in hearing from you. For more information, call our toll-free landlord inquiry number (800) 811 – 0393 or email landlords@abodeservices.org .

For more information on how to participate with Abode Services, click here.

For more information about Meriwest, visit our homepage 

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