December Newsletter: "Rise Up" and Join us for our 5th Year of Service!
Join the fight against chronic homelessness!
So Long 2020!
Over the years, we have grown so much and this year was no different. It has been a crazy year of struggles, growth, and successes and we couldn't have done it without YOU! Thank you for always supporting us and we can't wait to see what the new year will bring all of us! Thank you for being a part of who we are here at Mustard Seed Project. We want to give a big shoutout to our Director of Data and Analysis, Erikka Linn, for putting together this video of all our memories during 2020! Check out the video above and subscribe to our Youtube channel to stay up to date with us!
Mayor Extends SD Convention Center Shelter to January 2021
Let's Keep Pushing for March 2021!
"[In a recent release,] Todd Gloria said that he's directing staff to provide funding using money previously slated for shelter operations in November and December that wasn't spent due to cost-saving measures and other factors, as well as a state grant specifically for funding homelessness-related services. Gloria added that he's proposing the city authorize more funding through March 2021, with plans to continue helping those at the shelter transition into permanent housing or into another shelter by that time. Those financial plans could be discussed by the City Council in January." (ABC 10 News San Diego).
While it is exciting that San Diego is extending the SDCC shelter until at least January 2021, we must stay loud! They have not met our demands where we want to keep the SDCC shelter open until San Diego is able to reach the Yellow Tier for a minimum of 5 weeks. We plan to keep this petition active and continue to advocate for Operation Shelter to Home. We want to continue to place pressure on the Mayor’s office, City Council, and Board of Supervisors, with a goal to hold them accountable for Todd Gloria’s promises. The San Diego City Council is meeting in January and we must be loud so that they put funding the SDCC shelter on their agenda for discussion. Let's keep up the good work by sharing this information with your peers, family, and friends as well as expressing concern with your local San Diego City Council officials.
Contact your city council officials and let them know why we must keep the SDCC shelter open until at least the end of March 2021. Steps you can take to help us continue our fight:
Contact SD City Council by providing a written statement/calling city officials. We have a few Email templates and Phone scripts.
Share our message with friends, family, and other community members. Urge them to sign our petition!
Lastly we would like to extend a HUGE shoutout to our amazing Director of Chapter Operations, Cecily Ma, for leading us on this successful campaign. The fight isn’t over yet and we are still fighting for an extension until San Diego reaches the Yellow Tier for a minimum of 5 weeks.
Welcoming our Director of Content Creation
We would like to extend a very warm welcome to our new director of content creation, Tina Lavaf! Tina is a recent graduate from UCLA with her B.A. in Sociology and has been working as a part of our team since October 2020. We are very lucky to have her creating all of the beautiful content for our social media pages and other related paraphernalia, and are looking forward to seeing everything she will create in the future!
2020 Holiday Care Packages
The 2020 Holiday Season Care Package distribution was a success! Our very own Project Developer Martin Arceo, Director of Fundraising Quoc Nguyen, and UCSD Service Navigator Shane Johnson, assembled care packages and distributed them to our unsheltered neighbors in Downtown San Diego. We are beyond grateful for their willingness to go beyond to serve others especially during times like these. Each care package consisted of toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens, notebooks, disposable masks, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, food, and personally written letters. Let’s continue this great work in 2021!
Thank you to our SDSU Volunteer Service Navigators!
We want to give a huge thank you to our SDSU navigators for working through finals and the holidays to continue bringing services to our clients in homelessness! Our service navigator Monica is working with a client to apply to a program called Kitchen for Good, and Rebecca is helping a client apply for basic needs. Alan, Anh, and Audrey just joined the SDSU team and we can't wait to see what they accomplish as navigators in the new year! We also want to give a BIG shoutout to all service navigators from each campus for their continuous dedication and hard work! Can't wait to see what 2021 has in store!
Community Relief Fund Updates
Since the start of our Community Relief Fund campaign in July, we have managed to raise $5,678 thanks to our volunteers as well as our community supporters. Of the money raised so far, we have have dedicated $3,018 to helping 17 individuals in personal enrichment, basic needs, transportation, and rent.
Here is what we have managed to accomplish a monthly basis with the donations to our Community Relief Fund:
- December -
Two months of rent assistance for a client who is at-risk of COVID-19 morbidity to avoid eviction
A bus-voucher for a client to get to her work
Temporary rent assistance for a client who was recently laid off
Rent assistance for a client escaping domestic abuse
- November -
A client’s work permit so she can start working towards getting housing
Temporary rent assistance for a client to avoid eviction while he applies for government rent and groceries aid
Work equipment that conforms to safety standards for a client to keep his new job
- October -
A monthly bus voucher and medication for an individual
A GED prep course for an individual to boost his resume
Partial funding for an individual to open her bank account to receive COVID-19 stimulus and food assistance
Transportation passes for a single mother and her children escaping from domestic abuse
Rent assistance to prevent a single mother and her children from eviction
Utility assistance for an individual to move into a new home
Legal document application fees for an individual to start working
- July -
Two-months bus voucher for a client to make his doctor/legal appointments
A GED testing fees to bolster a client’s resume
Partial funding for a client to open an account to receive COVID-19 stimulus payments
Thank you to our Supporters!
We would like to give a BIG thank you to the supporters in our communities, including Donate PPE, for donating 150 face shields, a few thousand masks, and N95 masks on the way!
We would also like to send a major thank you to all of our chapters who have managed to fundraise significant amounts throughout the year. Without their help we definitely would not have been able to provide as many people with financial assistance as we have so far.
Thank you to everyone who stayed with us this past year. In March, the future of MSP was uncertain due to COVID-19, as we had to postpone weekly outreach indefinitely for the safety of our volunteers. However, we were successful in transitioning our Service Navigation Program to being remote, and with your support, continued to bring our services to individuals in homelessness. We hope you continue to stay with us in our journey next year as we welcome new chapters and volunteers to combat chronic homelessness.