Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center Hosts Celebration for Milpitas Children and Families

Contact
Brittany Satkoski
FIRST 5 Santa Clara County
408.260.3753

MILPITAS – Today, local leaders joined young children and their families at the Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center for an open house celebration featuring food trucks, resource tables, Potter the Otter, and free games and activities.

The resource center, which held its ribbon cutting in December 2016, provides free resources for children under age six and their families, including developmental screenings, parent and caregiver workshops, referrals to affordable children’s health insurance programs, and fun and educational family engagement activities. The Family Resource Center is a partnership between the Milpitas Unified School District, The Health Trust, and FIRST 5 Santa Clara County.

“Young children and families are at the heart of the Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center,” says Jolene Smith, Chief Executive Officer of FIRST 5 Santa Clara County. “FIRST 5 is dedicated to working with local families and the Milpitas Unified School District to strengthen and support the healthy development of our youngest children and support parents and caregivers in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher.”

The center joins a growing network Family Resource Centers across the county, the second in Milpitas, as part of FIRST 5’s Family Resource Center Initiative. The initiative uses a place-based approach to increase access to services and provide opportunities for parents to become more engaged in their children’s healthy development, school readiness, and other collaborative efforts to improve their lives and the communities in which they live.

“Partnering with FIRST 5 on the Family Resource Center Initiative allows us to ensure that children ages 0-5 acquire the skills needed to be ready to succeed in kindergarten, from literacy to proper nutrition and physical activity. We believe that these skills also serve as the foundation for living a healthy and fruitful life.” Charles C. Bullock, Ph.D., Interim CEO of The Health Trust.

Today the resource center was dedicated in memory of Josephine Guerrero, who was committed to serving her community. Guerrero served as an assistant postmaster, President of the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce, and was the first woman to serve on the Milpitas Planning Commission.

“Milpitas Unified School District is looking forward to dedicating the family resource center in memory of a woman who lived her life to support her family and the Milpitas community in times of peace and in times of war,” Board President Daniel Bobay said. “It is a fitting way to honor this woman who was a diamond with many facets.”

The Josephine Guerrero Family Resource Center is located on the campus of Randall Elementary School at 1300 Edsel Drive, Portable #1, Milpitas, CA 95035. For more information on hours and regularly scheduled classes, please call 408.635.2662 ext. 1638 or visit www.first5kids.org/frc.

###

Learn more about The Health Trust Family Resource Centers.

Download a PDF of this news release.

The Health Trust Magazine Spring/Summer 2017

The Spring/Summer 2017 issue of The Health Trust Magazine takes an in depth look at our efforts to build health equity in Silicon Valley with respect to homelessness and food security.

Inside you’ll learn about our program Destination: Home and its plan to end homelessness, along with the new strategies our Food For Everyone team is implementing to increase food access for vulnerable populations. You will also find a letter from our Interim CEO, what’s New and Newsworthy at The Health Trust, a donor spotlight on The Applied Materials Foundation, and a list of donors and corporate volunteers that help make our work possible.

Affordable Housing Week Presentation – Food for Everyone: The Intersection of Housing and Food Security

There are nearly 29,000 low-income apartments in Santa Clara County with approximately 70,000 people, a majority of whom are food insecure. Finding ways to provide these sites with a sustainable meal program is what we’re trying to accomplish.

That was one of the many takeaways today from our SV@Home Affordable Housing Week presentation, Food for Everyone: The Intersection of Housing and Food Security.

In partnership with LifeSTEPS, our Food for Everyone team presented on the new and creative ways we’re addressing the issues of housing and food security for the most vulnerable communities in Silicon Valley.

Download the presentation, to learn more.

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