Tis the Season for Giving. Remember those in need.

Real Estate Agent with The MJKelly Team BRE#: 0645724

I was at a Homeless symposium sponsored by our fifth district Supervisor Shirley Zane. One of the speakers was a Dr. from San Francisco who was managing the homeless shelters in that city. He spoke of the need for shelter for the homeless in very blunt terms. If we View more give a homeless person shelter they have a 65% change of surviving and thriving versus a 15% chance of survival by being on the streets. Pretty startling numbers. Our county of Sonoma has run out of available shelter for the homeless. Our temperature dropped into the 30’s over the past few nights. The county is opening up parking lots for those living in their cars to have a safe and hassle free place to sleep.

Our local “Chapter of Realtors” marketing meeting had a representative of an organization called "Vet Connect" speak to us about the plight of the homeless Veteran. We are ending our "Winter Coat" collection and are giving out last minute donations from our Realtor charitable giving funds. Our “Santa Rosa” chapter of Realtor is attempting to raise 2500 coats for the homeless. We designate 4 charitable needs based groups. We asked the “Vet Connect” representative what they needed--"Warm coats" he replied. We all chimed in—those we got plenty of! Then he said a very sad thing, "And also tarps-not bright ones but either brown or camouflage". Many had a puzzled look on their faces but he went on to say how the bright ones attract cops and then they get hassled and asked to move on.

If I were a cynic I'd say, “Great, welcome to the Sonoma County solution for the homeless--free tarps and a place to park your car!” But I know there are folks out there that teach us all a lesson in compassion. I also know much is being brought to bear on the homeless in the County and especially the Veteran. Recently an under utilized motel was converted as a homeless shelter for Veterans exclusively. It is over 50 units and also has auxillary services for Veterans. Obvious more needs to be done. The "Vet Connect" representative left with $1,350 in cash as we passed the hat amongst our Realtors and Affiliate members. I am always amazed at the charity and generosity of Realtors and those we work with every day. Next week is our big Holiday Party and we will once again celebrate another year past and goals accomplished. We auction off a fully decorated Xmas Tree. Last year we auctioned it off for $4,000! We divvied up the money between many needy families. A friend at C-21, through her church, tells us those families in need. Tis the time of giving. I’m reminded of the old Beatles song with an appropriate phrase: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."                


Comments (4)

Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

whenever I see someone homeless with a pet it breaks my heart - glad that you are doing something so kind. 

Dec 08, 2016 07:08 PM
Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

Lise,  Yes, it is heartbreaking but the dog doesn't know he's homeless. He's with his buddy and all is right with the world. There are organizations which provide pet care for the homeless.

Dec 08, 2016 07:16 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Mike - taking care of the homeless is extremely important in our colder climate.  We need more contributions and more coats.

Dec 08, 2016 07:29 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank you for a post showing actions people and REALTORS are taking to help.

Dec 08, 2016 10:38 PM