Community comes together at “Thanks From SHELTER” anniversary celebration

SHELTER, Inc. celebrated its 35th anniversary Wednesday night with a special online get-together for friends and supporters. “Thanks From SHELTER” found ways to bring our neighbors together, and in doing so raised $17,500 for the agency’s wrap-around services, which help combat the root causes of homelessness in Contra Costa, Solano, and Sacramento counties.

Attendees were treated to an assortment of live and pre-recorded videos, which provided inside looks at SHELTER, Inc.’s programs, services, and participants. The schedule included several rounds of trivia, door prizes, and a special announcement from CEO John Eckstrom, who shared news of SHELTER, Inc. receiving a $5 million grant from Jeff Bezos’s Day 1 Families Fund.

“The Day 1 Families Fund recognizes charities having outstanding impacts in their communities and providing shelter or hunger support to families with young children,” Eckstrom said in his address. “Approximately 35 to 40 percent of our participants are children, so we’re very glad we’re able to receive this incredible grant.”

At the start of the event, viewers met Charles, who came to SHELTER, Inc. in search of help after years of trauma stemming from the death of his mother. His case manager, Alicia, helped provide the resources he needed to regain self-sufficiency and get his life back on track. He now has a job and an apartment for his family, which includes his infant daughter, Charlie.

SHELTER, Inc. program managers also explained the depth of services offered to homeless and at-risk families and individuals, and the history of their individual departments. In addition, state and local leaders dropped by with proclamations and messages of support.

“The total number of people helped by SHELTER, Inc. in the past 35 years exceeds 263,000,” Concord mayor Tim McGallian said. “On behalf of the Concord City Council, I hereby proclaim November 17th, SHELTER, Inc. Day in the city of Concord.”

“You’ve come so far in helping thousands of unhoused Californians, and you’ve adapted your services to meet each crisis,” California Senator Steve Glazer added. “I thank you for helping our most vulnerable neighbors get a fresh start.”

SHELTER, Inc. is incredibly grateful for the generosity shown Wednesday night, and for the support the agency has received since our founding in 1986. We thank everyone who took the time to join us for “Thanks From SHELTER,” and we hope everyone else enjoyed the event as much as we did!

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