Friends,

I want to take a moment to introduce myself. I'm Rick Scott, Director of Programs at Friendship Shelter. In the nine years I've been with this organization I've seen many programmatic shifts and have worked with hundreds of clients firsthand. One thing that has remained constant is our staff's commitment to being proactive, innovative, and always evolving to meet the needs of our community, as well as the men and women we work with.

We know that housing is the ultimate end to homelessness, and for that reason each of our three programs has a distinct focus on finding the housing solution that is right for each client. In our flagship SSP residential shelter program on Coast Highway, the road to housing looks different depending on each client's unique circumstance. Some people, upon completion of our program, are employed and ready to look for a room to rent on their own. Others are more vulnerabl...

As 2017 begins, here at Friendship Shelter we’re reviewing the past year and turning our focus to what’s next.  Like an individual setting New Year’s resolutions, we’re looking at whether we accomplished our goals in 2016 and focusing on our goals for 2017.  All of our goals at Friendship Shelter are focused on ending homelessness in southern Orange County, one person at a time. 
 
2016 was our most successful year yet in accomplishing that over-reaching goal.  During the year, we opened our renovated Henderson House apartments and welcomed the 14 transitional-aged youth who now call this facility “home.”  We continued to grow our scattered site permanent supportive housing program, now housing 44 chronically homeless individuals who were previously on the streets of our communities.  We set an audacious goal of making nearly $300,000 in facility improvements, and with the help of individual donors...

About this time last year, I attended the annual conference of the National Alliance to End Homelessness in Washington, D.C.  Our keynote speaker at one luncheon was not a policy wonk or politician, but the actor Richard Gere.  Gere had just completed a very personal film project and was there to share it with us.  The film, “Time Out Of Mind,” explores in a very intimate, unique way what it might be like to be homeless.

Gere told us how the film was made.  He described it as “stealth filmmaking.”  Rather than set up trailers, cameras, and crew that signal a film is being made in a public space, filmmakers shot from within buildings or adjacent rooms, so that life went on uninterrupted as the actors went about their scenes while in the daily chaos that is the streets of New York City.

This very recognizable, well-regarded actor told us about a full day he spent filming in the same neighborho...

With this first post, we’re joining the blogosphere in order to provide you with more frequent and more personal narrative updates about our work.  You’ll hear from me fairly often, and you’ll also hear from other staff, supporters and friends who will share their own unique perspectives. 

It’s hard to know where to begin.  It’s been an incredibly rich, busy and productive time for Friendship Shelter.  It’s likely that the last time you remember hearing from us, we were advocating for permanent supportive housing solutions.  You’ll remember that permanent supportive housing is the most successful and cost-effective solution for chronically homeless people – those with long-term homelessness plus a disabling condition – and that we were eager to bring this solution to southern Orange County.  Maybe you recall the details:  we were advocating for a 40-unit apartment community adjacent to the ASL emergency...

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949.494.6928 • office@friendshipshelter.org • PO Box 4252, Laguna Beach CA 92652