Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cottage Housing gets surprise half-million dollar donation

Photo from the Cottage Housing website.

A half-million dollars from the estate of an anonymous longtime community-college teacher will be given to Cottage Housing, according to an article in the Sacramento Business Journal, yesterday, and one in the Sacramento Bee, today.

According to their mission statement, found at Guidestar, “Sacramento Cottage Housing Inc. provides transitional housing with support services at two sites to help homeless individuals, couples, and families become self-reliant.”

The Business Journal article tells us Cottage Housing “oversees 241 residential units at Serna Village in North Highlands and Quinn Cottages in downtown Sacramento.”

The homeless-aid organization hopes to use most of the huge gift and other matching donations it hopes soon to receive “to double its capacity to 500 bedrooms over the next four years.” Bee reporting tells us, “Retired Bishop Francis Quinn, who was instrumental in establishing Cottage Housing 10 years ago, said the money will bring the agency closer to its original vision of building 1,000 cottages for homeless people.”

Per SBJ, “Cottage Housing also will use some of the donation immediately to provide families with holiday gifts. Every program participant who is going on job interviews also will receive a gift certificate for new clothing.”

Update 12/29/08: An excellent piece by the Sacramento Bee editorial board on Sunday, the 28th, "Editorial: Charity-minded folks enjoy plenty of options," waxes wise in wholehearted support of Cottage Housing. Here, some of what the piece had to say:

Cottage Housing gives homeless people more than shelter. It provides drug and alcohol counseling, help in finding a job and a safe, sober community where people who have lived on the streets for years can heal.

The charity boasts a success rate of better than 80percent. Graduates leave after two years with secure housing and income and sobriety intact. Some have gone from homelessness to home ownership.

...The Secret Santa donation will help expand the program to 1,000 units. It also offers a challenge to other donors who might be tired of always giving to those who have everything.

Give instead to those who have nothing. There is no shortage of needy recipients. Cottage Housing is just one of many good places to find them.

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