Give Local: Tips and Ideas for Holiday Donations
We know that at this time of year, businesses are often looking for ways to give back to the community and those in need. For over 40 years, the City’s Human Services Department has supported a vibrant community through services that empower individuals, strengthen families, encourage self-sufficiency, enhance neighborhoods, and foster a high quality of life. These programs help make our community a wonderful place to live and work by providing assistance to those who need it. The size and scope of services provided by the City in Fremont are unique and are a testament to our community’s commitment to creating a prosperous environment for everyone. As you decide how to give back this holiday season, consider supporting one of the City’s many Human Services programs to help them make an even bigger impact.
The Human Services Department accepts tax deductible support from the community for nine of their programs. From youth to seniors to homeless community members, you can specify your gift to a program of your choice, or make a donation that will be directed to the area of greatest need. During the holiday season, the programs that are most in need are Homelessness Services and Giving Hope.
The City has a multipronged approach to addressing homelessness, and winter is a particularly important time to provide services. In the winter months, the City operates a shelter to provide hot food, showers, clothing, sleeping bags, and cots, as well as medical and social services during the week. Last winter, an average of 54 people attended dinner every night, and 40 people stayed overnight. Through the season, the shelter helped 438 individuals ranging from 4 months to 78 years in age. This season’s shelter has already started, and is providing essential services to members of our community.
This is also a crucial time to support Fremont’s first temporary Housing Navigation Center. The purpose of the Housing Navigation Center is to help address the City’s homeless crisis. The 2019 Homeless Point-in-Time Count revealed that the homeless population in Fremont increased by 27% since 2017. Of the 608 homeless counted in Fremont, 485 are without shelter. The Fremont Housing Navigation Center is an innovative model that will provide the homeless population in Fremont shelter and a path to securing permanent housing. Plans are being finalized for the construction, landscaping, and furnishing of the Center with a particular effort to make it a warm and welcoming addition to our downtown. Financial support or items purchased from the wish list will help create a clean, safe, and calm environment so that participants can focus on finding stable, permanent housing.
These are just two of the many ways that the City is working to address the homelessness crisis in our area. You can support all of the City’s efforts, including the winter shelter, by donating to Homeless Services through the Human Services donation page, or direct your support specifically to the Navigation Center.
The holiday season is a time of reflection to count personal and family blessings and to share the love and support we have received during the year with others. Some in our community live economically on the edge of crisis, struggling to maintain the barest of necessities for themselves and their families. For 20 years, the Fremont community has come together to bring cheer to those in need during the holidays through the City of Fremont Human Services Department Giving Hope Program. This program invites members of the community to help families, seniors, and seniors with pet companions in need by sponsoring a wish list or making a donation. In 2018 alone, the community came together to help 310 individuals and 45 companion animals by bringing in over $104,000 worth of gifts and financial donations.
Giving Hope helps raise the spirits of our neighbors in need by providing gifts from a personalized wish list and grocery cards to children, seniors, and families who are struggling. Low-income seniors with pets also receive supplies and treats for beloved companions. Children and students supported by the program receive the learning supplies they need to succeed. Give a financial contribution to ensure that wish lists without sponsors are fulfilled. After the holidays, Human Services applies money not spent on gifts to the urgent needs fund. This flexible funding allows them to help with critical needs their clients may be facing all year long that are not covered under governmental program guidelines. Support Giving Hope through the Human Services donation page.
Thank you for your support of those in need — the generosity of our business community makes an important contribution to Fremont’s quality of life and work.