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Monterey Peninsula dedicates transitional housing facility



Lt. Colonel Richard Love and Captain James Sullivan accept a Certificate of Recognition from the state Senate.


BY IONE STRUM – 

Lt. Colonels Richard and Bettie Love, Golden State divisional leaders, joined Captains James and Laura Sullivan of the Monterey Peninsula Corps to dedicate Casa de las Palmas, The Salvation Army’s new transitional housing facility.

The facility provides short-term residences for homeless families making the transition from homelessness to stable living in the economic mainstream.

“We chose the name Casa de las Palmas because of its location on Palm Avenue and the spiritual significance of palms in Christian worship. In some cultures, when a family is doing well economically, they plant palm trees at the entrance to their home, symbolizing ‘We are doing well!'” said Captain James Sullivan. “It is this sense of well-being and self-esteem we want to equip the residents with as they participate in our 4-step ‘continuum of care’ program.”

Casa de las Palmas provides a center for Step Three, where case managers help families focus on long term transformation. Families can stay in one of the fully furnished and equipped 1,000 square-foot units for up to 24 months. On-going case management workshops include budgeting, nutrition, life skills, parenting, landlord-tenant relations, property upkeep ­ all designed to support and strengthen their chances of full recovery and re-entry into society.

Accepting a Certificate of Recognition from Senator Bruce McPherson, Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Richard Love expressed his appreciation for the community’s support for the mission and work of the Monterey Peninsula Corps.

In his keynote speech, Gordon Bingham, social services secretary for the West, emphasized that while Casa de las Palmas offers an opportunity for change for only a few homeless families at a time, The Salvation Army is about the business of change. “The name of this program, transitional housing, is about change ­ movement or passage from one state or status to another…The place we dedicate today will help marginalized people back into the mainstream of society.”

Bingham reminded the audience that the new facility represents, as do so many others operated by The Salvation Army, its partnership with federal and local governments and many community organizations.

Lt. Colonel Bettie Love offered a dedicatory prayer and declared Casa de las Palmas open.

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