HEALDSBURG, California—May 10, 2017
- Research found previous name was an impediment to public awareness and fundraising for critical homeless services
- Homelessness in Sonoma County is three times higher than the national rate for similar regions.
- Reach for Home will formally launch its new identity at the second annual exhibit of student artwork on homelessness at the Paul Mahder Gallery
- New tagline is “Housing for People. Skills for Life.”
Effective today, Reach for Home is the new name of North Sonoma County Services, the nonprofit assisting homeless individuals and families. The new name, tagline, logo, and website are designed to more effectively convey the Reach for Home mission to partner with north Sonoma County community and service organizations and help people in the area who are struggling with, or are at risk of, losing housing.
“In early 2017 we received a private grant to conduct stakeholder research and make bold moves based on the results,” said Executive Director Colleen Carmichael. “We learned that although our team is perceived as dedicated and effective, we are challenged by a tendency in the community to deny the existence of the homeless problem along with confusion about our name and a lack of awareness about what we do. This combination limited our ability to raise funds and carry out our programs. ”
According to the 2016 Sonoma County Homeless Census and Survey, nearly 3,000 adults and children live in Sonoma County without stable housing, which is three times higher than the national rate of homelessness.
Sixty-seven percent of the area’s homeless cited high rent as a reason why they could not obtain stable housing. This comes as newly released guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development show a family of four in Santa Rosa is officially classified as “low-income” if the annual household income is below $70,500.
“Today our Outreach team serves approximately 220 people. Everyday they deliver food, emergency equipment and supplies, arrange and transport clients to medical appointments, and offer guidance in crisis situations,” said Tom Hartfield, Board Chair, Reach for Home. “For people without housing, the need for assistance is urgent. In the past year, we’ve collaborated successfully with Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) to place 24 families in the Family Transitional and Rapid Re-Housing programs. But we would like to do so much more. With the help of residents and public/private partnerships, so much is possible.”
Added Carmichael, “Behind these statistics are real individuals and families. Our new identity highlights the success these people can achieve when they engage in action plans and work hard for positive outcomes, especially learning the life skills needed to attain permanent housing and independence.”
The new “Reach for Home” identity will be introduced at the second annual exhibit of student artwork on homelessness at the Paul Mahder Gallery at 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 13 and via its redesigned website www.reachforhome.org. We invite all interested county residents dedicated to this important effort to attend.
About Reach for Home. Established in 2014 and based in Healdsburg, CA, Reach for Home helps people of north Sonoma County find a rapid return to stable housing and achieve self-sufficiency. Case managers team with clients to develop good credit scores, demonstrate positive rental histories and improve life skills. Reach for Home engages the community for financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteerism to address and prevent homelessness. For more information, please visit www.reachforhome.org.