On March 3rd, the Fulton Day Labor Center in Fulton, CA had its grand reopening after recently completing renovations. California Human Development (CHD) spearheaded the project, which aimed to provide a safe and dignified space for day laborers to meet with employers while offering resources such as emergency care, English language classes, and job skills training.
Funding for the renovations came from a mini-grant of $2,500 from the City of Santa Rosa Community Advisory Boards Community Improvement Grant Program, as well as leveraged funding from the Press Democrat Celebrate Community Grant Program, totaling $10,000. With the help of CHD staff and four contracted day labor participants, the renovations were completed in 45 days, which included the installation of a deck, patio awning, shed, sink, benches, and new signage.
The reopening was a significant event for the community, as clients, stakeholders, and community partners were invited to attend. During the reopening ceremony, CHD dedicated a plaque to thank the City of Santa Rosa and the Press Democrat Celebrate Community Program for their contributions to the center. Attendees were also given a tour of the renovated space and learned about the services and resources that the center now provides.
In addition to the grand reopening of the Fulton Day Labor Center, there were some exciting highlights during the event. State Senator Mike McGuire attended the ceremony and gave a speech to the audience, emphasizing the importance of supporting day laborers in the community and the positive impact that the center has on their lives.
Furthermore, the reopening ceremony featured a ribbon-cutting event, which was a symbolic gesture to mark the completion of the renovations and the official reopening of the center. The ribbon cutting was conducted by CHD staff, day labor participants, and community leaders, and it was a joyous moment for everyone in attendance.
The presence of State Senator Mike McGuire and the ribbon-cutting event added to the celebratory atmosphere of the reopening ceremony. The support and recognition from community leaders demonstrate the positive impact that the Fulton Day Labor Center has on the community and the importance of providing resources and support to day laborers.
Overall, the renovations have helped to transform the Fulton Day Labor Center into a more welcoming and supportive space for day laborers. The improvements have not only made the center more visually appealing, but they have also increased the functionality and resources available to workers. With the support of the community, CHD hopes to continue making positive changes that improve the lives and employability of day laborers in Sonoma County and beyond.
Maria Espinza’s family consists of six members, and until recently, they had been struggling to find a suitable home. However, California Human Development provided them with a beautiful place to call their own in Mahal Plaza, and they couldn’t be happier. “We were moved into the unit within two weeks of applying, and the Mahal Plaza staff were very helpful,” Maria said.
When Maria’s family increased in size, they were easily transferred to a 4-bedroom unit, making the transition a breeze. So far, living at Mahal Plaza has been fantastic, and there is a genuine sense of community here. “The services provided by staff are very helpful to our family,” Maria shared.
One of the standout features of Mahal Plaza is its excellent customer service. Staff is always available to help answer questions, and they make sure everyone knows what’s happening at the complex by sending flyers and making phone calls. Additionally, the community offers free services like dental workshops, free Covid tests, EDD workshops, and more, to help residents.
Maria and her family also appreciate how Mahal Plaza makes everyone’s holidays special. They received special gifts for the holidays and enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving dinner, making their family feel valued and appreciated.
Finally, work orders are taken care of quickly, and the staff makes sure that everyone’s needs are met. “It’s a great environment at Mahal Plaza, and my family and I are very grateful for the opportunity to live here,” Maria concluded.
In conclusion, Maria’s story is a testament to the transformative power of community and support. California Human Development and Mahal Plaza have helped her family overcome obstacles and thrive, showing that a helping hand can make all the difference.
Olga was born in El Salvador and began her journey to the United States at the age of 18. Her motivation to leave her country of birth was driven by her desire for independence and a better life. Being fearless, she entered the United States without inspection and successfully completed her trek without any issues. She arrived in Sonoma County and lived with an aunt who gave her the opportunity to babysit and attend school at the College of Marin, where she studied English as a second language. She knew she had to let go of her insecurities with English and persevered by successfully completing her courses.
After two years of living with her aunt, she began a new chapter in her life with a young man who eventually became the father of her two children. Over the years, she became a single mother but still found time to continue her education. At the age of 34, while working at a school center, she earned her Early Childhood Education teaching credential. She eventually changed course and became a nanny for a couple who worked as attorneys. Her children were now 4 and 19 years old, and the couple financed her opportunity to take law classes for six months at Dominican College. During this time, Olga’s son graduated from college as a mechanical engineer.
From the moment Olga arrived in the United States, her dream was to become a United States citizen. She had the discipline to study online for her citizenship test, and although she was very nervous on the day of her interview, she successfully answered all the questions correctly and was granted citizenship. Olga is now 52 years old and is elated that she has come this far since she first arrived in the United States 34 years ago. She has accomplished so much and now feels a weight lifted from her because she knows that her new status will allow her to reap many more benefits. She can vote, travel without restrictions, and apply for jobs that require United States citizenship. Olga has already taken two trips, one to Mexico and one to Hawaii.
When Olga first wanted to apply for citizenship, she was apprehensive because she heard so many horror stories from friends about the cost of hiring an immigration attorney and the disappointment they experienced from paying attorneys and not receiving the benefit. A friend told her to come to California Human Development because they are an agency that helps low-income applicants. Olga is grateful to CHD for preparing her citizenship application at no cost and allowing her to fulfill her dream of becoming a citizen. She shares her positive experience with all her friends and encourages them to take the risk and come to CHD for a citizenship consultation.
California Human Development (CHD) recently visited Capitol Hill to meet with various members of Congress, such as Representatives Matsui, La Malfa, Harder, Garamendi, Thompson, and Huffman. The purpose of their trip was to attend the AFOP Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. and advocate for California’s farmworkers.
As farmworkers make up a significant portion of the population in CHD’s 31 County Service Area, Representatives Matsui, La Malfa, Harder, Garamendi, Thompson, and Huffman all represent districts in California where farmworkers reside. The visit to Capitol Hill provided an opportunity for CHD to share their expertise on the needs of this population and advocate for policies that support their well-being.
During their meetings with the members of Congress, CHD provided detailed reports on the needs of farmworkers in each representative’s district. For instance, in Representative Matsui’s district, which covers Sacramento and parts of Yolo and Solano Counties, there are over 5,000 farmworkers. CHD highlighted the needs of these farmworkers in these areas and how their Farmworker Services Division is meeting those needs through their various programs and services.
By providing these thorough reports, CHD was able to demonstrate the specific needs of farmworkers in each representative’s district and advocate for policies that address these challenges. This personalized approach made the meetings more effective and impactful, as the representatives were able to see the real-world impact of their policy decisions on their constituents.
Overall, the visit to Capitol Hill provided an essential opportunity for CHD to advocate for the needs of California’s farmworkers and ensure that policymakers hear their voices. By collaborating with members of Congress, they can improve the lives of those who tirelessly work to provide food for our tables.