2019-20 Major Beneficiary

Winter Nights Family Shelter

Founded in 2004, Winter Nights Family Shelter is a seasonal program of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, partnering with over 40 faith communities to provide shelter, meals, showers and services to homeless families with children.

Their mission is to keep homeless families together at a difficult time in a safe, warm, supportive environment, and to provide services to assist them toward self-sufficiency and into stable housing.  Winter Nights strives to meet them where they are, understand their situation, set goals and help them chart a path forward.

Winter Nights is one of only 3 homeless shelters in Contra Costa County for mothers, fathers and their children, newborn through teens, and the only shelter to serve an entire family unit. If a grandparent lives with the family, or a 19 year old son or daughter, they are welcomed too. Winter Nights also serves families with special needs children. Their capacity is 30 people at a time. This typically means 7-9 families, 10-15 parents and 15-20 children. Winter Nights was able to place 77% of their families in housing this year.  When a family finds housing, another family enters the program. 

Winter Nights operates the Oasis Day Center in Pittsburg for clients to access services, and as a place for them to care for their infants and toddlers during the day. Showers are available here, too.

Winter Nights also operates the only supervised, overnight Parking Lot Program for families with children in Contra Costa County, January – April, at a church in East County. Here they serve families, as well as individuals and couples living in their cars. Hot meals are provided in the evenings and breakfast in the morning. Showers and services are available at the Oasis center. Families are moved into the shelter as space becomes available.

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2019 - 2020 Minor Beneficiaries 

Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County

The Rainbow Community Center provides a safe and welcoming place and builds community among LGBTQ+ persons and their allies through social programs and support groups, clinical services, trainings, special events, and emergency programs.  

On any given day Rainbow is providing counseling services on and offsite at schools, running a busy youth program, offering senior services and luncheon, health and wellness services, facilitating various support groups, leading social activities, conducting HIV testing and support, teaching Diversity training, running a fully stocked food pantry, and offering services to some of our community’s most vulnerable populations.

Rainbow’s newest program is providing support services and housing assistance to young adults experiencing homelessness and fleeing violence. Rainbow has successfully transitioned six young adults into permanent housing and actively working on securing temporary and full-time housing for LGBTQ youth and young adults including young adults transitioning out of foster care without a safety net.

Rainbow was founded in 1996 and still going strong as a community partner, good neighbor and compassionate Center where we seek to decrease isolation and stigma, and support the creation of a healthy and vibrant community.

Rainbow also offers LGBTQ+ cultural competency training programs for mental health providers, schools, community groups, local government, law enforcement, medical health providers and non-profit and corporate organizations.

Rainbow's weekly Food Pantry sends food boxes to people living with HIV/AIDS and qualifying seniors, and twice a month they make home visits to those who are sick and cannot leave their homes.

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UnCommon Law

UnCommon Law's mission is to provide trauma-informed counseling and legal assistance to people experiencing long-term incarceration. They represent people in their parole hearings and engage in litigation and policy advocacy to address systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system.

UCL provides education and training to improve the quality of preparation for and representation in parole hearings.

Over the past 13 years, UnCommon Law has proven the concept that healing-focused programs help people convicted of serious crimes dramatically improve their overall wellness, their success at being granted parole, and their performance after release. 

UncommonLaw guides their clients along a healing pathway home from prison.

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If you are interested in being considered as a future beneficiary, please contact us at communityfunds@lafayettejuniors.org.