This morning’s speakers were Annie Branes and Marisa Feliciano-Garcia of Sunrise Special Services. Sunrise provides healthy resources, social services and a safe living environment through a bridging program that is designed to stabilize and ensure the personal survival to those with special needs. The organization does this through a variety of means, but one of their cornerstone efforts is providing housing for those with social or mental issues with the objective of having those individuals become ever more able to ultimately pay for most, if not all, of their housing costs while also growing personally to be able to live independently.
Part of this process includes finding housing close to the services the individual would need, such as medical attention or jobs. The federal government has traditionally provided funding for mental health programs and recently changed the rules so that the care given to an individual is affected heavily by that individual’s own decisions. Each person decides what their plan and needs are and they work with a counselor to determine those needs.
Presently there are 18 properties around the Lake that Sunrise utilizes. On the 5th of the month Sunrise visits the tenants, checking the property and making sure things are going fine.
The tenants are also required to maintain certain standards including being a working member of society, volunteer in their community, experience growth and become better prepared to enter society, pay their rent on time and comply with the program guidelines.
There are a variety of property profiles including share housing, where four women live together. Three of these women had been homeless and none had lived outside of an institution in the past. “They’ve found great success living here,” said Marisa, a graduate of Upper Lake High School who did a very good job sharing the spotlight with Annie Branes.
A resident of the share home was quoted as saying, “This is a home to us, we treat it that way. We can sit and look at the awls and be content when we see our children’s pictures.”
The rent on the house is $1500 per month. Mental health subsidized the rental initially, but with three of the women now working the subsidies have decreased significantly. Presently Sunrise gets a portion of its funding by acting as a property manager for these individuals and charges a fee in addition to the rent paid.
Sunrise also helped build a kitchen in conjunction with the Snake Lady and now serve over 80 people per day, many of these are underprivileged children whose main meal comes in the form of lunch prepared by this kitchen.
Another Sunrise goal was to build a boys and girls club, which they are presently doing.
Sunrise also works with faith-based organizations and received some federal funding to assist.
Presently they are looking to purchase a park model mobile home, which is about 400 sq.. Ft. The individual getting this home will initially pay rent, but then will be allowed to purchase the home through these rental payments. The cost is about $40,000.
“We are working as quickly as possible towards moving out of being subsidized by the County and being self-sufficient.”
Sunrise consists of four individuals; Annie Branes - Executive Director, Lilli Edson - Housing Liaison, Andrea Trean - Secretary and Marisa Feliciano-Garcia - Administrative Assistant.
Chris Skarada - Tulip Hill Winery
The featured business of the month was Tulip Hill Winery. Tulip Hill is familiar to all North Shore Business Association members for not only having terrific wines, but being such an excellent partner of the Association. Kenny Parlet, NSBA President, shared the Association’s feelings of gratitude by thanking Chris Skarada for their ongoing generosity toward the group in hosting several of our evening functions.
For visitors to Tulip Hill’s tasting room, there are over 20 types of wines available every day to sample. Just when people might think they have found a favorite from the winery, a new wine might pique their interest so regular visits to the tasting room are never a bad thing.
Of course being Tulip Hill, the winery plants 35,000-50,000 tulips every year. Chris described the initial flowers from the newly-planted bulbs as being the most spectacular, which is why they plant new bulbs annually. So what happens once the season’s over?
Tulip Hills take all the bulbs and just donate them to everybody in he county, usually around Mother’s Day. “We’d love to see the entire county planted in tulip bulbs one day!” said Chris.
In addition to having great wines, Tulip Hill has their tastings in a beautiful setting and utilizes this setting to have regular concerts on weekends. Check www.lakecochamber.com’s on-line calendar for updates and information on these. These same beautiful grounds can be rented for any occasion someone wants to make special with weddings being the logical choice. Tulip Hill can host a wedding on their grounds, providing a beautiful backdrop and wonderful wines for any couple who wants to celebrate their nuptials in style, and with good taste.
Mary Heare Amodio
Member Mary Heare Amodio committed herself to providing a monthly legal tip and this month’s could put money in your pocket. Each state is required to hold in trust any funds that were mailed to an individual that were not cashed. For example, imagine if your insurance company sends a refund check to your old address, but your forwarding order has expired. Those funds then go into trust of the state until they are claimed. Each state is required to have their own procedure for holding these funds.
Using a simple Google search, you can find these state offices. You can find the California office - click here. Mary advised that you search the offices of any state you have ever lived in. What’s more, she also advised NSBA members to search the states of relatives as well. For example, if your mother lived in Maine until she was married, you might look there. Mary had several examples of finding money for people that they didn’t know they had and there is no cost to an individual to do the search, other than some loving time spent with their computer.
Lastly, she mentioned that there’s a new pastor coming to Upper Lake in the Methodist church and they are looking for people who are of the Mong culture.