Cottage Housing Inc

Cottage Housing offers safe and affordable housing to homeless individuals and families and helps equip our participants with the tools and life skills necessary to rebuild their lives, their families, and their place in the community.

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Address: Quinn Cottages 1500 N. A Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Kris Martin
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-425-8527
Cottage Housing Inc. (CHI) is an independent, community-based, non-profit corporation launched in 1994 by a coalition of Sacramento government, business, and church leaders seeking solution-oriented longer-term alternatives to traditional short-term (30-90 day) crisis-oriented homeless intervention programs that often deliver high recidivism rates. CHI provides longer-term residential placement coupled with personal development programs and business enterprises intended to attack the deeper-rooted causes of homelessness - to improve the health of a challenged population and equip our participants with the tools and skills to rebuild their lives.

CHI's approach improves the neighborhood environment and business climate of our community, saves taxpayers money, and helps rebuild our participants' lives. We serve over 300 men, women, and children at two facilities. The first was Quinn Cottages, opened in 1997 in Midtown Sacramento, housing about 75 individuals. Between its opening and 2012, the number of Quinn Cottages residents with significant disabilities doubled while their average length-of-stay was reduced almost by half (from 23 months to 14 months). By serving nearly twice as many people as originally planned, this two-year transitional project lowered its anticipated cost-per-person by half - much less than more expensive institutional options. In 2002, CHI opened Serna Village, the region's first and now largest long-term residential support program for homeless parents reuniting with children they have lost to foster care and other out-of-home placement. Serna Village is an 83-unit family complex serving approximately 100 adults and 200 children. All must be referred by homeless services organization and must have a disability.
To ensure our nationally recognized model program can endure, CHI must adapt to: - New federal 'housing first' policies that favor bedrooms over the supportive transitional services offered for two decades through our model program - The concurrent loss of $400,000 in government funding for such programs - Other financial challenges presented by the recent recession CHI has taken dramatic steps to make that transition by reducing staff 50 percent, retaining a part-time executive director, completing a new Strategic Plan to adapt CHI to its new reality, expanding our business enterprises to provide paid jobs for participants and revenue to CHI, and conducting a comprehensive survey of potential sources of financial support. With those steps behind us, CHI's needs today are to: - Restore caseworker staff incrementally to reduce the burden on remaining staff and better serve our participants ($34,000 for each staff member including benefits) - Retain a full-time executive director to carry out our Strategic Plan for long-term sustainability ($125,000 including benefits) - Retain a fund-development director/grant writer ($40,000 including benefits) - Create a third long-term residential facility, this one for clean-and-sober support ($250,000 plus staff) Our top needs: 1. Funding: Unrestricted - Staffing critically low right now. Need to retain more personal development coaches to better serve our participants. 2. Funding: Other - Budget currently does not provide enough for a full-time executive director. We need an ED/CEO to assure long-term viability of the organization. 3. Funding: Program - Our long-term goal is to create a third long-term residential facility, this one for clean-and-sober support. 4. Other - Please Describe - We need to retain a fund-development director/grant writer. 5. In-Kind Donations - With more than 350 residents escaping homelessness, including nearly 300 children, we have a great need for household items, clothing, personal care products, and other items essential to daily life in a safe and comfortable environment.
"In 2013, CHI released a San Francisco State University study in conjunction with Sierra Health Foundation demonstrating programs that have led to significantly healthier outcomes for hundreds of children and saved taxpayers more than a million dollars by reducing recidivism in Child Protective Services and Foster Care systems. The success of our approach is further demonstrated in the 75% 'graduation rate' of our participants, who move on with housing secure, income stabilized, and sobriety intact. We succeed by creating healing communities where homeless people help themselves - and each other - to move from the streets to self-sustainability. Applicants to the program commit to sobriety, self-defined personal development goals, and voluntary service.

We are participant driven: Residents are engaged as participants rather than recipients in every aspect of program operations. Likewise, we provide a staff of personal development coaches - not caseworkers - who act as mentors, counselors, and guides, building on their backgrounds as former CHI participants who have shared our residents' experience on the streets and in our program. They counsel and assist program participants in their personal development, including confronting drug and alcohol addictions, behaviors management, socialization, personal appearance and hygiene, computer skills, job training and application, education, family reunification, personal finance and other skills required to move to self-sustainability. We work directly with dozens of churches, businesses, hospital systems, public agencies, and community organizations to provide volunteer service and support for our programs. Our program includes two business enterprises intended to provide participants with a job and employment experience that many have never had. The two businesses -
Abundance Books & More (an online sales enterprise) and Finishing Touch (an auto detailing company) - also provide a growing revenue stream to help support CHI's many services to residents."

Jeff Raimundo
Board Member
Cottage Housing Inc.