The Supportive Housing Committee was set up to address what the Berkeley Rotary Club might do relative to one of the area’s most pressing concerns—the needs of the unhoused population—especially in regard to shelter and support. Its mission comprises two themes:
Much of the committee’s work has been initially directed to Comfort and Care. On a monthly basis, committee members have collected hygiene products and other items to pack into personal care kits, which are then distributed to homeless shelters and encampments. Backpacks with school supplies have been distributed to children in local shelters, and warm blankets and knitted hats provided to veterans. Prior to COVID restrictions, Berkeley Rotarians also served meals at a local shelter for homeless youth. The data in the sidebar box tell the story.
In collaboration with the City of Berkeley, the committee created, printed, updated, and helped to distribute The Homeless Resource Guide.
In addition to hands-on service, Berkeley Rotary’s Supportive Housing Committee acts as a networking and collaborating body between Berkeley Rotary and the City of Berkeley, local shelters, and other community-based organizations (CBOS).
The Club Endowment has contributed grant monies to the Berkeley Food and Housing Hope Center Project, Berkeley’s largest homeless housing construction project. Club members helped paint and construct two transitional housing projects: Pathways—the Stair Project, and Grayson Street—the Horizon Project, providing supportive services for our unhoused neighbors.