We’ve been busy! Here is a quick overview of what the CSA team – staff, volunteers and community supporters – have been working on.
Since the pandemic began in mid- March, CSA has had to pivot agency operations to meet increasing community need.
Overall, we have seen a 76% increase in the number of households served compared to the same period last year. That translates into over 1,000 new households who have signed up for services including groceries, rental assistance and more.
The health and safety of our staff, clients and volunteers is our highest priority during this unprecedented health emergency. In an effort to keep our community informed, we wanted to share information about a situation we learned of on Saturday.
CSA staff are gearing up for what is expected to be the most challenging Back to School distribution event in the agency’s 63-year history. “With so many people looking to CSA for help with food and rental assistance since the COVID-19 health crisis, we are expecting a significant increase in the number of children participating in this year’s event,” says Brandi Jothimani, Homeless Prevention Services Director. “And, since school districts are still assessing what instruction will look like – virtual or otherwise – the kind of supplies we have offered in the past, especially backpacks, may need to be modified.”
With the shelter-in-place order now extended through May, it’s clear that we are in this for the long haul. So what does that mean for CSA and the community we serve? For starters, food insecurity is going to become an even greater concern, especially with the growing supply chain issues that we are already experiencing. CSA will need to deploy additional staff and financial resources to support this increased need. You don’t need a crystal ball to see that we are heading into an economic downturn, which means more clients and potentially fewer donors.
While these are incredibly trying times for all of us, I am blown away by the generosity and spirit of our community, the heroics of our staff and volunteers and the breathtaking intensity of sudden need among the most vulnerable residents of our community. I want to update you on how this ever-evolving situation has affected CSA, as well as critical client needs.
CSA has put into place a number of changes to adapt to the ever-evolving situation with COVID-19 and the Shelter-In-Place order. Most noticeably, the lobby is currently closed to the general public, but the agency is hard at work behind closed doors to continue to assist those in need while protecting clients, volunteers, and staff.
CSA’s Associate Director Nicole Fargo Nosich and attorney/civic leader Laura Blakely, were honored as Athena Award winners earlier this month by the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. The Athena Award is an international honor given for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
At 4:00 a.m. this past Wednesday, 40 people, including CSA staff and volunteers, gathered at the agency for maps, instructions and fresh coffee before heading out to count the Mountain View-Los Altos area homeless population.
Eonis Cibrian Pelayo has been named Coordinator of the new Community Resource Navigator Program at CSA. This innovative program – initially conceived by Listos Mountain View and spearheaded by CSA – is designed to empower community leaders from disadvantaged communities to share resources with those who lack access to available services. Eonis is one of three…