Elk Grove HART is an all-volunteer organization that was formed in 2010 to provide services to the growing number of people experiencing homelessness in the Elk Grove area. The intention was to assist the homeless in becoming independent and self-sustaining through a one-on-one mentoring program.
In 2013, the Grace House opened to provide transitional housing for 5 homeless people and a housing monitor. A six-month stay gives each person an opportunity to seek employment and find housing with the help of their mentor and a caseworker.
In 2015, the Meadow House for families opened for the increasing number of families experiencing homelessness in the Elk Grove area. Three families can stay in the house for up to 9 months, through an entire school year. Goals are set and worked on during that time to stabilize the families and help them to move out of homelessness. While we have successfully helped many families to stabilize during their stay in the Meadow House, the most dramatic and beautiful difference is in the children.
HART's Winter Sanctuary started in 2013 and has given those that are on the streets a warm and safe place to sleep for 12 weeks during the winter. Homeless guests are provided shelter at hosting churches with a hot meal at night and breakfast in the morning. During that time, social workers and other support staff work with the homeless to help them better their situations, often finding housing options for them. Hundreds of volunteers are involved in making this happen.
The winter of 2020 brought new challenges and opportunities for Elk Grove HART. Unable to provide overnight, indoor shelter due to COVID-19 restrictions, HART designed and implemented a new program called EG HART WINSIP (Winter Shelter in Place). For this new program, HART was able to partner with the City of Elk Grove and obtain financial support through the Cares Act. For 44 weeks beginning in March of 2020 and running through the Spring of 2021, volunteers assembled and delivered shelf stable meals and other necessities to those experiencing homelessness within the City of Elk Grove. More than 5,500 meals were assembled and delivered to residents of encampments throughout the city. In addition to food, homeless clients were provided waterproof sleeping bags, warm jackets, clothing items, and toiletries.
HART strongly believes in partnering with supportive agencies, the Elk Grove Unified School District and the City of Elk Grove to fully utilize all available resources. The Elk Grove HART model has been so successful that it has been duplicated in 10 other local communities including Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Folsom, and Carmichael.
Elk Grove HART's mission is to assist those experiencing homelessness in Elk Grove toward self-sufficiency and greater independence.
Funding is needed to support two transitional homes in Elk Grove. In cooperation with the City of Elk Grove and Sacramento Self-Help Housing, we obtained our first transitional house in the old town area. Through the hard work and generous donations of so many, we were able to transform a neglected, run-down house into a shining star of the neighborhood. This 5 bedroom, 3 bath house provides a stable environment to mentor the clients as they become solid productive members of society. Meadow House is our second transition home. Meadow House is designed for families. This spacious 7 bedroom house is home to 3 families plus a house monitor. The unique configuration of the home is perfectly setup for each family to have 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. Our goal is to help these families get out of homelessness and back on their feet. To accomplish this, we need continued monetary support.
If HART is safely able to offer it next Winter, funding will be needed to support our annual twelve-week Winter Shelter (EG WINS). EG WINS is a joint effort with local churches to offer temporary, emergency shelter for homeless people in Elk Grove. This program of Elk Grove HART is based on the successful model used in Davis, CA since 2007, and is supported by Sacramento Self Help Housing, Elk Grove Food Bank Services, and the City of Elk Grove. EG WINS begins in mid-December and runs for 12 weeks ending in late February or early March. Local churches provide accommodations for up to 20 adult men, women, and families with a warm, dry place to sleep, a hot meal, and friendly companionship.
As an alternative or an additional program, the HART Board is currently considering continuing a new program called EG HART WINSIP (Winter Shelter in Place). For this new program implemented during the 2020-2021 pandemic, HART volunteers assembled and delivered shelf stable meals and other necessities to those experiencing homelessness within the City of Elk Grove. More than 5,500 meals were assembled and delivered to residents of encampments throughout the city. In addition to food, homeless clients were provided waterproof sleeping bags, warm jackets, clothing items, and toiletries. Initial funding for this program was provided through the CARES Act. Funding will be required to continue the program into the future.
If offered next Winter, volunteers will be needed to support our twelve-week Winter Sanctuary (EG WINS) which runs from mid-December through late February or early March each year. We are looking for individuals who have a compassionate heart for others and are willing to donate one day a week (varied duties between 5:30 and 8:00 P.M.) for the 12 week program.
The EG HART Winter Shelter in Place (WINSIP) program will also need volunteers to purchase food and clothing, and assemble and deliver lunches to those experiencing homelessness in our community.
Volunteers are needed to serve as mentors for guests residing in our two transitional houses.
As new housing options are provided by the City of Elk Grove, furniture and household items to furnish these homes are needed. When each house opens, there are immediate needs for beds and bed frames, chests of drawers, bed linens and assorted kitchen supplies and small appliances.