The Health Trust joins the County of Santa Clara in lawsuit challenging the Executive Order on “Sanctuary Jurisdictions”

The County of Santa Clara is seeking a nationwide preliminary injunction that would halt President Trump’s “Sanctuary Jurisdiction” Executive Order to strip federal funding from “Sanctuary Jurisdictions.” In short, Executive Order 13768, if it stands, will strip all federal funds from “Sanctuary Jurisdictions”. If this were to happen, our county would lose 1.7 billion dollars! This of course would have a huge impact on healthcare, housing, public safety and many other critical services to residents of our county.

The Health Trust is pleased that our County has taken this action and has decided to join the suit by fling amicus briefs, along with other non-profits, County and City offices, businesses and individuals. The federal court hearing for this suit will be held on Friday, April 14 at 9:00 AM in San Francisco.

On Thursday, April 13, 2017, the County held a press conference to detail results of a Sanctuary County Study and the impacts the Executive Order will have on public safety and community services. The Health Trust Interim CEO, Charlie Bullock, and COO, Todd Hansen, attended the press conference, along with 30-40 community leaders and members, in support of Santa Clara County Board President Dave Cortese and the County’s lawsuit challenging the Executive Order on “Sanctuary Jurisdictions.”

The Health Trust feels confident about the legal basis for this action, but of course will have to wait to see how the court rules.

FAQ on County of Santa Clara Lawsuit Challenging Executive Order on “Sanctuary Jurisdictions.”

The Health Trust sponsors Senior Safari Walkabout 2017

The Health Trust has partnered with Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, Happy Hollow Foundation and the City of San Jose to present the 2017 Senior Safari Walkabout!

From highlighted routes for the 10,000 Step Program, to Animal Meet & Greets, the Walkabout is a great way for seniors to get exercise while enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.

Exclusively for ages 50 and over, this event will occur at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo on the 4th Thursday of every month from May – October, 9:00AM – 10:00AM:

  • May 25, 2017
  • June 22, 2017
  • July 27, 2017
  • August 24, 2017
  • September 28, 2017
  • October 26, 2017

Best of all, it’s free! That’s right, both parking and admission are free from 9AM – 10AM, but you can stay as long as you’d like.

For more information, please call 408-794-6400 or visit HHPZ.org. For directions and other general park information, click here.

CEO search is progressing well

A Note from Azzani Search Consultants

The recruitment of the CEO is progressing well. The Search Committee comprised of Board, staff and community representatives will be reviewing and interviewing candidates until the end of May.

The job description is available, and can be downloaded here. We encourage you to send recommendations, nominations or letters of interest to Azzani Search Consultants / Eunice Azzani.

Download job description.

Mercury News: San Jose landlord evicting tenants to house vets at higher rents

By RAMONA GIWARGIS | rgiwargis@bayareanewsgroup.com

A San Jose apartment owner has found a way to evict long-time tenants, jack up the rents on her units and collect government subsidies in the process — by leasing her apartments to homeless veterans.

Peggy DeMaio is taking advantage — perfectly legally — of a city housing policy that allows landlords to bypass rent controls for certain hard-to-house groups. The law was designed to help solve the persistent difficulties many veterans face finding places to live. DeMaio has rented to more than 20 of them, according to city records and interviews.

But city officials say they never expected that landlords would kick out other renters to create space for the veterans. That is what DeMaio appears to have done, evicting at least 35 of her 41 tenants, city records show, as she renovated four small apartment complexes in San Jose.

Because those tenants paid lower rents under the city’s rent control law — and the veterans often pay market rate — DeMaio benefits twice, first from rents that may be $1,000 a month higher or more and then from $11,000 in bonus payments awarded to her by a city-county program created to end homelessness among veterans.

“We’ve been doing housing subsidies for 20 years and we’ve never had anything like this happen,” said Paul Hepfer, vice president of programs at The Health Trust, which helps manage the “All the Way Home” program’s incentive payments to landlords. “That’s not the intent of the program. To hear this story — we were dumbfounded.”

It’s not the first brush with controversy for DeMaio, who got in hot water last month after trying to evict a 92-year-old man from his home of 44 years. Paul Mayer had been paying far less than market rent — $525 for a studio — until DeMaio bought his complex and served him with an eviction notice. After mediation, DeMaio agreed to give him a three-month extension to leave.

Peggy DeMaio declined a request for an interview. Her son, Anthony, who co-owns some of the complexes, did not return calls seeking comment.

The situation is rooted in a rent control law that gives preference to certain groups who get housing vouchers, such as veterans, and the absence of a law requiring San Jose landlords to give tenants a reason when they don’t renew their leases.

Under San Jose’s housing law, one-third of the city’s apartments — those built before 1979 — are under rent control, which limits rent increases to no more than 5 percent a year. But when a landlord accepts a state or federal housing voucher — such as those used by veterans — he or she is allowed to raise the rent to a market rate, city officials say. And because San Jose has no “just cause” eviction ordinance, a landlord can kick out one tenant and rent to another.

“We’re finding that there are some owners who are issuing no-cause evictions to long-term tenants and then they’re renting at a much higher price by accepting vouchers,” said San Jose’s housing director Jacky Morales-Ferrand. “We want to make sure there is not a financial incentive to evict tenants. We shouldn’t pit low-income people against each other for one apartment.”

Morales-Ferrand, who learned about the situation from housing advocates, said she plans to ask the City Council at its April 18 meeting to revise San Jose’s policy to close what has become a loophole in the system. She said she will suggest the city prohibit landlords from increasing rents for voucher-holders when a previous tenant is evicted without cause.

Meanwhile, Hepfer of The Health Trust says his group is creating an affidavit that landlords will sign before collecting an incentive, saying they haven’t displaced anyone else to house a veteran.

Joshua Howard, the California Apartment Association’s senior vice president of local public affairs, said the so-called “loophole” was designed to encourage property owners to rent to voucher holders, such as veterans or Section 8 tenants. But he said the association has “always held the position that a property owner should not terminate a tenancy without cause simply to raise the rent.”

DeMaio — and 225 other landlords — have received bonus payments for housing veterans as part of the “All the Way Home” campaign, launched on Veteran’s Day in November 2015 by Mayor Sam Liccardo and county Supervisor Dave Cortese to end homelessness among veterans. Program officials said DeMaio has collected $11,000 for housing 20 veterans — $1,500 for the first veteran tenant and $500 for every additional veteran housed.

A Veterans Affairs official said she contacted Anthony DeMaio, hoping to discourage the displacement of other renters to house veterans.

“I told them, I’m not happy with this and we wouldn’t want anyone to be homeless in order to house our veterans,” said Mona Bazzi, program manager of the Veterans Affairs voucher housing program at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. “He said that’s his business practice based on the money he is trying to make after rehabilitating the units.”

Reached at one of her complexes, Peggy DeMaio declined to be interviewed, saying, “I don’t want to talk to you — ever.” After this news organization’s article about Mayer’s eviction, she became a target on social media, where some called her names and others posted that “karma will get her.” In a Facebook post last Thursday responding to one of those comments, she wrote that she’s not the person “portrayed by the media” and that she’s “taken 26 homeless veterans off the street.”

Michelle Cyann, a struggling mother of five and longtime tenant at a DeMaio complex on Randolph Drive, said she got an eviction notice telling her to leave by May 9. But city officials red-tagged the 7-unit property on March 17 for “unsafe stairs, walls and landing” so Cyann, along with two other households, had to leave immediately. She and her five children are living in a motel arranged by the city’s housing department.

“It’s a little unfair because I’ve lived here 12 years,” said Cyann, 30, a Costco worker. “I have to save and cut back from my kids to be able to move.”

The situation has also been stressful for the veterans living in DeMaio’s buildings. Five of them, who signed one-year leases after the DeMaios took over, said they were just looking for a place to stay and had no idea it meant displacing someone else. Most asked not to be identified because they are worried about keeping their new homes.

But Mario Pina, a 60-year-old Marine Corp veteran living at a DeMaio-owned complex on Hester Avenue, said, “I don’t think that’s cool.” He pays $2,600 to share a two-bedroom apartment with his daughter, but his veteran’s voucher covers the majority of the rent. He said he didn’t know the reason for any evictions.

“I’m just thinking of having a roof over my head,” he said.

Read the original report. 

Dr. Bill Thomas’ Changing Aging Tour comes to San Jose

CHANGING AGING TOUR—Our culture tells us that aging will change us against our will, and for the worse. Internationally acclaimed longevity expert Dr. Bill Thomas argues that this is false. Blending myth and science, live music and visuals, Dr. Bill Thomas’ Changing Aging Tour is a modern day American Chautauqua barnstorming the country in a rock n’ roll tour bus to bring communities a new and highly disruptive understanding of aging.

Drawing on ancient wisdom and scientific breakthroughs, the Changing Aging Tour challenges audience members to reject ageist stereotypes and embrace the moments of life that offer the greatest risk, reward and possibility. The Tour includes two non-fiction theater performances as well as an immersive lobby experience. In the afternoon Disrupt Dementia features music and stories from Samite, Nate Silas Richardson and Namarah McCall and co-hosts Dr. Jennifer Carson and Kyrié Carpenter. The evening performance is Dr. Thomas’ signature show Aging: Life’s Most Dangerous Game with musician Nate Silas Richardson.

“Aging can be reimagined as a vivid and enlivening process that presents us with extraordinary risks, and rewards,” Dr. Thomas says. “So, how are we supposed to play this most dangerous of all games? What do winning and losing look like?”

WHAT: Changing Aging Tour

WHEN: Wednesday, April 5th – 2:30 pm and 7 pm

WHERE: Montgomery Theatre. 271 S Market St, San Jose, California 95113

TICKETS: Tickets of events can purchased online at ChangingAging.org

SPONSORS: Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services, M.E. Fox Family Foundation and The Health Trust. AARP, AARP Foundation, Holiday Retirement, Milo and Convivium

The Health Trust Makes Health Partnership Grants Totaling Over $450,000

CONTACT
Maria Garcia
The Health Trust
408.513.8700
Grants@healthtrust.org

San Jose, CA – As March 16, 2016, The Health Trust Board of Trustees approved 6 Health Partnership grants, during its third grant cycle, totaling $454,270 to projects supporting The Health Trust Healthy Eating, Healthy Living and Healthy Aging initiatives.

These grants directly benefit residents of Santa Clara County and continue to uphold our vision, a healthier Silicon Valley for everyone.

Breakdown of Grants

Healthy Eating

Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation         

Healthy Kids Program – $45,000 over 12 months to promote and support physical activity in after-school and summer program sites, targeting underserved communities in Santa Clara County.

In the County of Santa Clara, approximately 28% of children and teens are obese or overweight. Engaging in regular exercise can help improve their health and academic performance. More importantly, when children engage in physical activity at an early age, it becomes a part of their life style. In an effort to encourage and support physical activity for youth during school and after school hours, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation plans to partner with the YMCA of Silicon Valley, Boys and Girls Club, and the Earthquake Foundation to provide physical activity equipment targeting high need communities in Santa Clara County.

Sacred Heart Community Services         

Expanding Urban Agriculture in San Jose – $12,140 over 10 months to support the implementation phase of the newly adopted Urban Agricultural Incentive Zone Ordinance in San Jose that will address the lack of access to land for gardening projects.

San Jose has been a progressive hub for ideas on how to broaden the urban agricultural movement. Most recently, the City of San Jose has adopted policies, such as the Urban Ag Incentive Zone that promotes partnerships between landowners and community-based organizations to transform unused, vacant land for urban agricultural purposes. In an effort to ensure that community-based organizations benefit from this new ordinance, Sacred Heart Community Services will continue to focus on outreach and technical assistance for property owners and community-based organizations for projects in low-income communities in San Jose.

Veggielution        

Neighborhood Harvest Program  – $14,810 over eight months to continue the work around healthy food access by expanding and strengthening the capacity of the Neighborhood Harvest Program targeting East San Jose homeowners, local food pantries, and low-income access points.  

San Jose, known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight, has an ideal environment for fruit tree growth. These trees bear thousands of pounds of perfectly edible fruit that is not picked and eaten, essentially going to waste. Veggielution plans to continue to strengthen and expand its program by not only engaging current homeowners around the downtown San Jose area, but to include East San Jose homeowners.

Healthy Aging

County of Santa Clara

Whole Person Care – $300,000 over 24 months support the Whole Person Care Program, targeting high need older adults.  

The integration and coordination of critical services is imperative to the overall wellbeing of our most vulnerable populations. Through the Whole Person Care Program, the County of Santa Clara will have the opportunity to pilot programs targeting older adults who are either institutionalized or at-risk of being institutionalized by providing them with wrap-around services that will meet their needs.

Healthy Living

Youth Alliance

Reducing Health Disparities in San Benito County – $75,000 over 12 months to support Youth Alliance to strengthen its capacity to continue to serve the most hard to reach and underserved youth and families in N. San Benito County.  

Youth Alliance is regarded as a critical service provider in Northern San Benito County. The organization seeks to strengthen its organizational capacity and longevity to ensure that it continues to provide critical services to the most hard to reach and underserved families and youth in N. San Benito County.  

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County

Matching Grant in Support of San Jose Flood Victims – $7,320 over three months to provide immediate relief support to San Jose flood victims.

In February, San Jose experienced an unprecedented flood that forced thousands to evacuate, and submerged entire neighborhoods. In an effort to support our most vulnerable communities, Catholic Charities seeks to help transition residents from the shelter and other temporary locations and help those who are displaced to move to self-sufficiency. The support will include gift cards and other direct assistance for those with unmet needs, including families with children who attend Shirakawa Elementary School.

About The Health Trust’s Health Partnership Grants

The Health Trust prioritizes projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Bolsters health promotion and primary prevention efforts
  • Includes a system, policy, practice, or environmental change that can have an impact beyond the grant period
  • Includes a feasible sustainability plan
  • Follows promising and best practices

Proposal Due Dates

The next proposal due date is October 3, 2016, with a  decision date of December 7, 2016. Please check healthtrust.org/grants/health-partnership-grants/ for further information.

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About The Health Trust

The Health Trust is an operating foundation founded in 1996. Since then, it has been a catalyst for community partnerships that identify health challenges and work to find innovative solutions. The Health Trust provides grants, engages in policy and education and continues its legacy of providing health services to make Silicon Valley healthier for everyone. In 2010, Destination: Home became a program of The Health Trust; it is a public-private partnership implementing collective impact strategies to end homelessness in Santa Clara County. For more information, visit www.healthtrust.org.

The Health Trust commits to helping San Jose flood victims

Update Tuesday, March 28, 2017: Thank you to all who supported community members affected by San Jose’s flood emergency five weeks ago. We were able to raise $7,320 and as promised, have matched this amount! Again, thank you to all for your support.

Like everyone, The Health Trust was saddened by the recent floods and the terrible impact felt by our neighbors. As an organization, The Health Trust has a commitment to supporting our community’s most vulnerable residents, and in the wake of the devastating floods, many of these residents have faced unimaginable losses.  Many families hit were already struggling to get by, and are now faced with rebuilding their lives.

During these difficult times, those affected by the floods are in need of immediate assistance as they embark on the long road of rebuilding their lives. In an effort to support some of their immediate needs, The Health Trust has committed to matching donations made by staff, Board, and supporters, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.

Those interested in donating, can make a donation by visiting our Support San Jose Flood Victims Donation Page. Donations made by Friday, March 10th, will be matched dollar for dollar, with 100$ of donations going to flood victims. Donations will be equally split between Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and CommUniverCity San Jose. Both of these groups are working directly with the schools and families most affected by the flood.

Please join The Health Trust in supporting our community during this challenging time.

            
*Photos are courtesy of Craig Rose and Chris Mead, Emergency Photographers for the San Jose Fire Department.

Funding Opportunity: Getting to Zero Mini-Grants

Introduction
As of 2015 there were over 2700 people living with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in Santa Clara County. Additionally from data for the State of California, it is estimated that another 9% of persons with HIV are unaware of their infection. In Santa Clara County alone, the incidence of HIV increased by 20% from 2013 to 2014, with the concern that the number of new infections may continue to rise if not effectively addressed.

To impede this rise, The Health Trust is collaborating with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and other partners on a new initiative called Getting to Zero (GTZ)The initiative aims to have “zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from HIV, and zero stigma related to HIV.” On February 9, 2016, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors accepted a report to operationalize this the Getting to Zero initiative. The Health Trust was selected as the lead agency on this effort over the next four years to coordinate related work throughout the County. The recommendations for operationalization included a collective impact planning process with a preliminary assessment, as well as a best practice review and engagement of a wide range of stakeholders in order to identify and develop goals, objectives, and strategies, which led to the priority strategies described below

An important component of the initiative includes awarding mini-grants in the amount of $100,000 per year over the next four years to promote community agencies’ ability to recognize and respond to the greatest needs within their scope of work. The Health Trust seeks to collaborate with community-based organizations, public agencies, clinics, schools and other groups to award one-time mini-grants in support of the GTZ campaign and the four priority focus areas listed below.

Separate applications will be released for health care provider organizations and other types of organizations. Mini-grants may be used to support health care providers in establishing infrastructure related to supporting universal screening, effective referral mechanisms for HIV Providers, PrEP implementation, and stigma reduction. Mini-grants to non-clinical organizations may similarly support these four strategies in community-based settings, including but not limited to clinics, schools, and non-profit organizations. In addition to the aforementioned strategies, The Health Trust will consider other innovative strategies and activities that address the broader goals of Getting to Zero.

The priority focus areas and strategies revolve around the following:

  1. PrEP and PeP Implementation
  2. Universal, comprehensive STD Screening and Targeted Testing
  3. Initiation of Care and Retention in Care
  4. Reduction of Stigma

Grant Amount Range and Allowable Expenses
Grant awards will range from $1,500 – $20,000 with a total of $100,000 for this round of funding, $50,000 of which may go to clinical organizations and $50,000 to non-clinical organizations. Grant funds are to be used for the planning, staffing, materials, supplies, outreach and marketing needed to address any of the GTZ priority areas.

Key Dates 
Application Release Date:          Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Application Due Date:                Wednesday, March 15, 2017 by 5PM

Grant Award Announced:            Monday, April 3, 2017

Project Timeframe:                    April 3, 2017-June 30, 2017

Proposal Eligibility Criteria

  • Projects must directly benefit residents of Santa Clara County
  • Proposals must be completed and all costs incurred by June 30, 2017

Application Instructions
Interested applicants must have an online account created in order to submit the full proposal. If you do not have an existing account, please click here to create an account.

Upon creating an account, click here to access the proposal.

Please e-mail questions related to this funding announcement to Maria Garcia at MariaG@healthtrust.org

Applications are due on  Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 5pm

Grant Monitoring and Reporting

Grantees will be required to submit a final grant report 30 days upon the completion of the mini-grant project.

Download a PDF copy of this announcement.