Anyone purchasing a chicken sandwich or a beer by the fairway on Hole 18 at the Genesis Golf Tournament in February would have been surprised by the cheerfulness and the amount of work that the volunteers manning the concession stand put in the effort.
Running the enterprise was Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness volunteers.
Golfing fans and homeless volunteers?
PPTFH co-chair of the fundraising committee and volunteer, Carol Sanborn explained that the group was close to having raised enough money to hire a mental health officer to work with the homeless. For working the stand, the group made nearly $7,000, which inched them ever closer to enough money to hire a professional.
The PPTFH annually raises more than $120,000 to fund two social workers. Those workers, who are in the streets and in the parks almost every day engaging the homeless, said that many homeless need special help, which they are not trained to give.
Sanborn said, “The Outreach Team and the Volunteer Response Committee were reporting interactions with persons more severely mentally ill and increasingly suffering the effects of methamphetamine and fentanyl.”
Jay Snider of The Snider Foundation, posed the question to the task force, “How can I be the most helpful?” PPTFH Co-President Sharon Browning knew that a clinical case manager (CCM) was needed for those with mental issues, but didn’t know if the group could raise the money.
To find a person to help the most severely mentally ill and those who are addicted, would require a full-time person for three years at a competitive salary.
The Snider Foundation pledged a $90,000 Challenge Grant, requiring PPTFH to raise $180,000 in new funding by June 1, 2022.
Soon after Snider’s Challenge Grant, PPTFH’s Charter Funding Partner, St. John’s Health Center Foundation awarded PPTFH a generous Community Impact Fund Grant.
Three PPTFH Funding Partners, the Cynthia L. and William E. Simon Jr. Foundation, the Gries Family Foundation and Kimi and Graham Culp made substantial contributions, beyond their annual pledges.
Then, a Palisades homeowner, who was selling a residence designated the CCM Campaign as the recipient of a percentage of commission proceeds. Realtor and long-time PPTFH supporter Michael Edlen and The Edlen Team matched the donation.
In addition to these named donors, over 50 generous individual donors made contributions to the CCM Campaign, enabling PPTFH to meet the Snider challenge a full two months early.
Sharon Browning said that many of the 50 donations came from PPTFH volunteers, who believe in the mission and know the way that this community is dealing with the homeless – with compassion and dignity is working.
To learn more about the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and its mission, or to donate or volunteer, visit: PPTFH.org.