We’ve been busy! Here is a quick overview of what the CSA team – staff, volunteers and community supporters – have been working on.
Rental Assistance: Although the State of California passed a temporary moratorium on evictions, renters will still be responsible for back rent in 2021. We continue to receive a steady flow of rental assistance requests, although not quite as many as during the first few months of the pandemic. To date, over $3 million has been spent on rent relief, a very large sum for a city the size of Mountain View.
As of mid-October — thanks to the generous support of the city of Mountain View and other funders such as the cities of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, local foundations and corporations and community support — we have helped nearly a thousand households with a rent payment, and of those, over 600 households with a second month of rent as well. The majority of these households are extremely low-income, earning under 50% of the Area Median Income.
Nutrition: While our mobile pantries may not be operating due to limited on-site school hours, CSA continues to provide much-needed groceries to the community. Since the pandemic began, we have distributed over 16,000 bags of food, including ready-to-eat items for our unhoused clients and home delivery for our most vulnerable seniors. Our Senior Lunch Program has become more popular than ever since pivoting to a drive-through service. In a typical week, we provide nearly 900 nutritious to-go meals that are deeply appreciated.
Back-to-School Distribution: In other agency news, our Back-to-School program was a big success – we distributed hundreds of gift cards that allowed families to purchase school supplies and other necessities for their children. Says Brandi Jothimani, Homeless Prevention Services Director, “The gift cards give the families more flexibility in purchasing items their children need specific to class instruction.” The program is funded by Google, the Dudley Vehmeyer Brown Foundation and generous community partners.
Young Professionals Wine Tasting: In August, CSA’s Young Professionals partnered with Hook & Ladder Winery to pull off a very successful virtual fundraiser that raised over $9,000. The second annual “Empty Glasses” event featured tastings of three Hook & Ladder estate wines, with 50 percent of wine proceeds generously donated back to CSA. “This was such a fun event,” said one guest. “It was nice to see so many people on the call supporting CSA while kicking back and enjoying some really great wines.”
Hometown Heroes: While our virtual Hometown Heroes event didn’t go exactly according to plan due to technical difficulties, our guests were still able to enjoy the program from the comfort of their own homes, albeit the following day. Congratulations to our honorees – Tom Smith, Foothills Congregational Church and the caring communities of Mountain View and Los Altos. A professionally rendered version of the program is in the works, but you can view the initial video by clicking here. Special thanks to our media sponsor Los Altos Town Crier for a lovely article that captured the inspirational spirit of the event.