By Donna Westfall – February 8, 2019 –
At the monthly meeting of the Del Norte County Republican Women Federated group luncheon held at the Apple Peddler Reataurant Thursday, February 7th, the guest speaker was Robin Hartwick.
She began by telling us she was born and raised in Del Norte County and continues to love this area. As a real estate agent and part of the Del Norte County Realtors Board, for the last three years, she has been Chairperson of the COAT program. That stands for Community Outreach Assistance Team. They have homeless referred to them through Our Daily Bread Ministries or other agencies like Health and Human Services (HHS).
In a nutshell, the people referred to them are ready to get off the streets and go home. The COAT program calls up family or friends of the homeless person and see’s if there is a place for them to live. Then the COAT program provides bus fare and in one instance, air fare along with sack lunches or if a longer trip than 3 days is expected, McDonalds coupons. They do not give money. Their whole reason for existing is to send that homeless person back to a better living situation than living on the streets or in the forests of Del Norte County. The money they collect is spent on bus fare or air fare and meals.
In the last three years, they have handled 30 homeless people. In all but one case, they were notified that the homeless person reached their destination.
To support this program they have a fundraiser once a year which includes a silent auction. 100% of the funds go towards their program. Rebecca Green at Del Norte County Health & Human Services does almost all of the verifying as to where they are going.
They have to possess some type of ID, like a Driver’s License. If there’s a warrant out for their arrest, they are not going to get help.
By the time someone comes to them, that person is ready to leave Del Norte County. This program helps to find family or friends ready to take them in. They do not follow up long term. They only follow up to see that they reached their destination.
A small but workable program.