Help Continues for the Homeless

Help Continues for the Homeless

$90,000 Grant Keeps Vital Aid Program Afloat in Martinez

There is no shortage of homeless people in our community. In fact, in Contra Costa County alone, there are about 3,000 people without shelter. They all share some very basic needs.

Until last June, much of the assistance they needed or wanted was provided by Doug Stewart and his organization, Contra Costa Homeless Outreach. Venturing out nearly every night to bring the homeless blankets, socks, personal hygiene kits, and rides to BART or bus tickets, Stewart and his volunteer crew met a need that wasn’t being met anywhere else.

Last June, when Stewart decided to retire, the whole program was in jeopardy. When Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder mentioned at the State of the City breakfast that he was concerned about the future of this program, Tesoro stepped in. With a three-year grant of $90,000, the city will be able to hire an additional staff member to fill in where Stewart will leave off.

“This grant will give us the ability to hire one of the former staff from Contra Costa Homeless Outreach to continue those efforts we have been working on so we won’t lose ground,” states Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal. The city augments this budget to be able to pay for supplies, storage and more.

According to the Contra Costa Homeless Continuum of Care, an organization that does homeless counts each year in the county, homelessness is on the decline—nearly 6 percent fewer in 2016 compared with 2015. That’s not a huge drop, but it’s a step in the right direction.

“We were very worried about the impact from no longer having the ability to provide help to the homeless population, and Tesoro, being the great community partner that they are, stepped up to provide assistance to the city to help keep the outreach program in place,” says Schroder. “Without this contribution we would have had a difficult time sustaining
our efforts.”

Tesoro is proud to help the city of Martinez aid those who are homeless, helping them get off the streets and improving the overall vitality of our community.

Read more articles: Tesoro Martinez Community Newsletter – Winter 2017