Local Business Leaders Announce Major Investment in Focus on Prevention

A major charitable investment has been announced for the Focus on Prevention initiative, the long-term, multi-sector approach to addressing large-scale challenges in Stanislaus.

Over $1.4 million has been committed to Focus on Prevention by local business leaders Tom Norquist, David Halvorson, Sylvester Aguilar, Vinson Chase, Ted Dickason and Gary Boudreaux. The group, which included businessman Carl Boyett before his death last year, served as advisory members for the Credit Bureau Fund that was administered by Stanislaus Community Foundation for the past decade. Grants from the Credit Bureau have supported various nonprofits since the Credit Bureau shuttered its operations and sold its assets. After learning about the work Focus on Prevention has undertaken to organize the county’s homelessness services, the advisory group is allocating the majority of its funds to Focus on Prevention.

“We’re making this investment in Focus on Prevention because we believe in the work that it’s doing,” said Tom Norquist, a retired businessman and Chair of the Credit Bureau advisory group. “We know it’s going to take a long-term commitment to reduce homelessness in our region, among the other issues that Focus on Prevention is tackling in the coming years.”

Focus on Prevention is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative that was initially chartered by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in 2015. The county-wide initiative aims to improve the quality of life of all Stanislaus residents and families through coordinated prevention efforts that work across multiple sectors to promote health and wellbeing. The first goal of Focus on Prevention has been to create a coordinated system of care to reduce and prevent homelessness, and soon the initiative will expand to include families impacted by members who are justice-involved.

“After years of grantmaking in the region, we were pleased to see a coordinated approach to addressing homelessness,” said David Halvorson, President of American Chevrolet. “We’re putting a stake in the ground with this investment because it’s time to fund solutions, not talk about problems.”

The Focus on Prevention Fund will be administered by Stanislaus Community Foundation in response to grant requests by the Focus on Prevention Stewardship Council, comprised of local leaders from ten sectors. The grants will underwrite innovative solutions that cannot be addressed by government or nonprofit funding alone.


Point-in-Time (PIT) Annual Homeless Count

2017 PIT Count Community Participation: The Housing Authority of Stanislaus County led the 2017 PIT Count efforts. This effort is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to estimate the number of Americans without safe and stable housing and is a requirement for us to continue receiving federal funds to reduce homelessness. Collecting the data allows our community to track progress, increase public awareness, and helps us attract the needed resources to address homelessness. This year the PIT Count was conducted in our community on January 26, 2017. Their were over 180 community volunteers who participated this year! We are very excited to have also partnered with many School District homelessness liaison in pursuit of gathering better information for youth experiencing homelessness. The faith based organizations partnered in the effort by donating hundreds of beanies given away during the count. A big thank you to all the community volunteers who gave of their time to make this happen! The information gathered is currently being entered in to the federally mandated data base system and final survey results are expected in late Spring.

Vounteers Needed for the 2017 Point-in-Time Homeless Count

Focus on Prevention is requesting your partnership in the 2017 Point-in-Time Homeless Count. This is an effort mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to estimate the number of Americans without safe and stable housing, and is scheduled in our community for January 26, 2017. Point-in-time counts are important because they establish the dimensions of the problem of homelessness and help policymakers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. Collecting data on homelessness and tracking progress can inform public opinion, increase public awareness, and attract resources that will lead to the eradication of the problem. Additionally, it continues to allow our community to receive federal funds to reduce homelessness.You can read a Modesto Bee article on the 2016 Point-in-Time Homeless Count by clicking here. 

Interested in Volunteering?
Please click the link below for details on how you can be a part of this very important effort. We truly appreciate your partnership, time, and efforts as we work towards ending homelessness in our community! 

Focus on Prevention will work on strengthening families, with an emphasis on families of people in the criminal justice system

First, it was the complex issue of homelessness; the need for outreach and housing to move people off the streets.

Now, the Focus on Prevention in Stanislaus County will work on strengthening families, with an emphasis on families of people in the criminal justice system.

In a 10-year effort, Focus on Prevention is working with 10 different sectors to address major social problems and improve the quality of life in Stanislaus County. Leaders believe efforts to address family dysfunction can achieve results that last for generations.

Modesto council gets update on homelessness shelter projects

At the December 13th Modesto City Council meeting, local officials were updated on the status of two Homelessness Initiative proposals under development. Each focused on allowing our local homeless population the chance to have a place to stay between the streets and long-term housing. One project offers a 40-bed low-barrier approach, welcoming couples and pets. The other is a access center, offering a broad range of services.

Read the article from the December 11, 2016 edition of The Modesto Bee, outlining the current project status here.


Focus on Prevention Multi-Disciplinary Homeless Engagement and Outreach Team

The Focus on Prevention community partnership is in its final stages of implementing a Multi-disciplinary Homeless Engagement and Outreach Team in Stanislaus County. Focused on the “hardest-to-reach” and “service-resistant” chronically homeless population, the Outreach Team is a partnership of local service providers, health professionals, and the community at-large to help people get off the streets and connect them with the services they need to gain stable housing and achieve self-sufficiency. The Outreach Team is being developed with the intent of conducting daily mobile outreach and client service engagement for homeless individuals and families on the streets, in service venues, and other locations where they can be found in Stanislaus County. Local service professionals and community volunteers are part of the Outreach Team and throughout the week will be engaging people in need of services such as shelter, housing, employment, benefits assistance, medical and behavioral health services, and other assistance they need.

The Outreach Team plans to operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and expects to begin doing outreach in teams within the next few weeks.  Currently, the team is mapping out outreach areas countywide and developing a schedule.

For more information on how to get connected to the Engagement and Outreach Team or to be a volunteer please contact Alma Torres, Stanislaus County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Manager, at 209 525-6150.

A New Vision for Stanislaus County

Imagine our potential as a community if…

  • Our families are healthy—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Our families are supported by strong and safe neighborhoods and communities.
  • Our children and young people are getting a first-rate education—from cradle to career.
  • Our families are participating in and supported by a healthy economy.

As part of the Focus on Prevention Initiative, we’re not only imagining this for our future, we’re inviting you to join us in taking the next steps in helping us realize it.

Focus on Prevention is building a movement to strengthen Stanislaus County families, and the neighborhoods and communities, schools and businesses, and other institutions that help them thrive. This movement emerged from a passion among leaders to support our county’s families, and a deep concern about how many of our children are growing up without the active support and engagement of their fathers and other loving adults.

We have started this effort by building a movement to prevent homelessness. We started here because people who are homeless, or are struggling to avoid becoming homeless, have often become separated from strong families and communities—with typically tragic consequences. While we have started by focusing on people who are homeless, ultimately we are building a movement that supports and strengthens every family in our county.

The Stewardship Council has developed the overarching results for the Focus on Prevention Initiative.  Unlike a business, where everyone understands that success is measured by profit and shareholder value, one of the first tasks of this movement is to clarify what success means, and how we will measure it.

This movement is driven to achieve and sustain four results our families and communities:

  1. Our families are healthy—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  2. Our families are supported by strong and safe neighborhoods and communities.
  3. Our children and young people are getting a first-rate education—from cradle to career.
  4. Our families are participating in and supported by a healthy economy.

Next Steps 

Over the Holiday season and early next year, Stewardship Council members will lead dialogues within their respective sectors to solicit feedback on the above result areas, and start to build shared commitment to effect these results through sustained and aligned actions across multiple sectors and communities. Then, a multi-sector Action Council will be convened to develop strategies, and align current efforts, breaking down silos, and working towards these shared results.

And in Spring 2017, we’re asking you to join us for the Strengthening Families Summit as we launch this effort together to strengthen our families and communities.

View the summary report on the Focus on Prevention Results.