Why We Care
Services provided during a 12-month period to unduplicated women suggests that there are over 600 women who are homeless on the Monterey Peninsula on any given day. This assumption is supported by health care statistics and by data collected in both Peninsula and County surveys on the Status of Homeless Women. Publications from both surveys are available here and on the Community Foundation website. As women become more comfortable with becoming visible, more are being counted.
To update these numbers and to establish an ongoing reliable means of data collection and analysis related to the status of women living without adequate shelter in local communities, we have established a collaboration that includes Gathering for Women and the Monterey Institute for International Studies – whose faculty and students will serve as lead researchers.
- The Fund for Homeless Women has three co-founders who continue to work as co-organizers as full-time volunteers.
- The Fund for Homeless Women was officially established in 2012 by an anonymous donor with a check for $5,000.
- One of the co-organizers of the Fund for Homeless Women is a member of the Community Foundation Board of Directors.
- The Fund for Homeless Women co-organizers represent three faith traditions. Michael is an Ordained Episcopal Priest. Kathy is an Ordained Buddhist Priest, and Marian is a member of the Jewish faith.
- The Fund for Homeless Women started unofficially with a letter sent to Michael in 2011 by a homeless woman when he was a priest serving at St. Mary’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Grove.
- Michael and Kathy are writers. That’s how they met – in a writing circle at CSUMB they attended in 2010.
- Fund co-organizers are volunteers and unpaid. 100% of the money raised by the Fund goes into the Fund to support community programs and services for women who are homeless.
Marian Penn is a retired attorney and non profit executive. She has been active with social justice and educational programs in Monterey County for over 40 years first as a Public Defender and then as a staff attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance. She served as Dean of Monterey College of Law, and was the founder of Legal Services for Seniors and the Service Learning Institute at CSUMB. She received her B.A from Cornell University and her J.D. from the Harvard Law School. She has served as a board member of the Arkay Foundation for the past 24 years and is proud to focus her philanthropic work locally as a co-organizer of the Fund for Homeless Women.
Michael Reid is an Episcopal priest, author, co-founder and organizer of the Fund for Homeless Women of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. Originally from Brooklyn NY, he served 20 years as a nonprofit leader in New York and Los Angeles before moving to the Monterey Peninsula in 2001 to work at York School as Director of Development and Public Relations. He went on to seminary, then six years of parish ministry at St. Mary’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Grove. He received an Ed.D. from Temple University, M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific M.A. from NYU and B.A. from Adelphi University.
Kathy spent decades working as a social worker for the County. She raised three kids as a single mother and was fortunate enough to buy a house when homes were affordable.
Kathy has been afraid of becoming a bag lady if she made a mistake or had bad luck.
She wonders what is a healthy community and why so many women are sleeping without shelter.