Giving Hope This Holiday Season
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 temporary winter shelter to provide hot food, showers, clothing, sleeping bags, and cots, as well as medical and social services during the week. Last winter, the shelter served 348 individuals for 3,907 bed nights. This season shelter is set to open on Tuesday, December 1st. In order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, additional protocols will be implemented at the Winter Shelter this year, such as mask requirements, health screenings, physical distancing and new bedding which are better suited to for proper disinfection cleaning each day.
Another one of the City’s key services for the homeless is the CleanStart mobile hygiene unit. For someone experiencing homelessness, keeping yourself and your clothes clean can be incredibly challenging, and can greatly impact your ability to get and keep a job, or simply participate in society.
To meet this need, the cities of Fremont and Newark have partnered with three churches in Fremont, and the Salvation Army in Newark, to operate the CleanStart Mobile Hygiene Program, which provides much-needed shower and laundry services to our homeless neighbors. The CleanStart unit is a 50-foot truck and trailer, fitted with two full bathrooms with showers, including one that is ADA accessible, and three washer/dryer units. CleanStart moves throughout the Tri Cities to spaces provided by community partners so it can have the widest reach possible.
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 and CleanStart, by donating to Homeless Services through the Human Services donation page or by donating items from the CleanStart wish list.
The holiday season can be a time of reflection to count personal blessings and to share the support we have received during the year with others. 2020 has been a devasting year, leaving many in our community economically on the edge of crisis, struggling to maintain the barest of necessities for themselves and their families. For more than 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 families and seniors with pet companions in need by sponsoring a wish list or making a donation.
Because of the unprecedented needs this year, Giving Hope has shifted its focus. Rather than purchasing gifts, we ask sponsors to support wish lists comprised primarily of gift cards. By giving gift cards, recipients are empowered to determine the best way to use them, giving them control when they may feel they have none. You can request to sponsor a wish list for an individual, a senior, or a family or individual, senior or family with pet companions. Give a financial contribution to ensure that wish lists without sponsors are fulfilled. After the holidays, Human Services applies money not spent on wish lists 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. Need for these funds has never been greater. Support Giving Hope by visiting www.fremont.gov/givinghope.
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.