Volume 3, Number 1
CityServe Provides Care, Coordination, and Connection
By Hacienda Pulse Staff Writer
The mission of CityServe of the Tri-Valley is to “care, coordinate, and connect.” It does this by caring for people in crisis; coordinating resources and volunteers between the faith-based community, nonprofits, schools, businesses, and government agencies; and connecting community volunteers to appropriate nonprofits in the Tri-Valley.
“Our organization is special because our focus is completely on the human service needs of the Tri-Valley,” says Gloria Gregory, CityServe Executive Director and Co-founder. “One Pleasanton city leader expressed how we are different when she said, ‘We love how you address needs from start to finish.’ ”
Established in 2008, CityServe is a home-grown nonprofit that developed out of the desire of Tri-Valley churches to provide service. CityServe provides support to the most vulnerable residents of the Tri-Valley area. Of the population it serves, 87% are considered extremely low income, 38% are female head-of-household families–primarily single moms with young children–and 28% are homeless. In 2018, nearly 300 homeless Tri-Valley families and individuals received assistance from CityServe.
In the fall of 2018, CityServe staff began “ride alongs” with the police officers in Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore in an effort to connect with every homeless person and family in the Tri-Valley. On the first ride along in Pleasanton, the organization met five new homeless individuals. One was a senior woman who had lived in her van at a Pleasanton parking lot for over two years. At the time she had been unable to move her van for several months because of late registration fees she could not afford to pay.
“We met with her several times to understand her circumstances, and how much of that amount she could pay,” says Gregory. “Then we made up the difference through a partnership with a Pleasanton church and our own resources.” The organization took the woman to the DMV in Pleasanton to pay the registration fees. “Now she is back having lunch at the Pleasanton Senior Center and visiting the Pleasanton Library, which she loves.”
In 2018, the nonprofit worked with other local organizations to meet the needs of specific families or individuals in more than 2,614 instances. The extent of need for those in extremely low income, very low income and low income categories, as defined by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is much more extensive and prevalent than most people in the Tri-Valley know, according to Gregory.
“There is much opportunity to make a difference for children, seniors, youth, and many others,” says Gregory. “We love making that difference!”
There are many ways CityServe can be supported in their efforts. For example, during January, CityServe seeks volunteers for the Point-in-Time Count of homeless people in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, and unincorporated areas such as Sunol. Scheduled for January 30, a short, local training for the count takes place on January 17.
Another way people can help is by donating cars in working order to the organization, which currently seeks eight cars for families and single mothers. Reliable cars provide transportation to and from work, and keeping a job is a key ingredient in creating family stability.
Each year CityServe hosts an annual breakfast the Monday before Thanksgiving, among other events. The organization will be at the City of Pleasanton’s Make a Difference Festival on Saturday, January 19, at the Pleasanton Library from 10 am to 2 pm. Attendees at the free event will learn how to give back to the community through local volunteer activities.
For more information about CityServe of the Tri-Valley, please visit https://cityservetrivalley.org.