Fuller’s Office for Urban Initiatives Coordinates Homeless Solutions Project
Project aims to place Glendale and Burbank’s “most vulnerable” in permanent homes
Left to right: Students Santos, Hyneman, Boyko
The Office for Urban Initiatives (OUI) at Fuller Seminary has begun to implement a Homeless Solutions Project for 50 of the "most vulnerable" adults and children who have been chronically homeless on the streets of Glendale and Burbank, California—an area approximately 10 miles west of Fuller's Pasadena campus. Seminary faculty, practicum students, and interns are involved in this OUI-coordinated partnership with local government, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations, and civic organizations.
Without this initiative some of the project’s participants are likely to die on the streets, according to a vulnerability index administered by the Glendale Homeless Coalition last spring.
The project began December 15 under the direction of Urban Initiatives and will continue through March 15. Its primary purpose is to provide coordinated case management in order to help homeless participants obtain and maintain permanent housing.
“Three households have already been placed in permanent housing, and five more will be placed in another week,” noted Joe Colletti, executive director of the Office for Urban Initiatives. “This shows the project is working.”
“We expect to place 15 to 20 households in permanent housing by the time the project ends in mid-March,” he adds. “And project staff will work with all other households to be placed in shelters and transitional housing programs so that no one returns to the streets.”
Three practicum students from Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies—Jared Hyneman, Oksana Boyko, and Priscilla Santos—are assisting case managers with the implementation of plans to help homeless persons obtain permanent housing and receive the necessary social services to maintain their housing. School of Theology intern Mark Bradshaw and Daneli Urena, office assistant and School of Intercultural Studies student, have helped coordinate a meal program that has resulted in the participation of over 20 congregations, civic organizations, and local individuals.
Several Fuller faculty members are involved as well. Jude Tiersma Watson, associate professor of urban mission, is the professor of record for the three practicum students, and Sofia Herrera, research assistant professor and OUI associate director, supervises their work as well as intern Bradshaw’s. Other seminary faculty—Joe Currier of the School of Psychology and Willy Hernandez of the School of Theology—support the students’ work through in-service presentations on trauma and bereavement as well as the integration of faith and practice.
The Glendale/Burbank Homeless Solutions Project was created by Dr. Colletti of OUI with Ivet Samvelyan of the City of Glendale and Maribel Leyland of the City of Burbank. Largely funded by the two cities, the project is operated under the Institute for Urban Initiatives, whose board president is School of Theology Professor Mark Lau Branson. The Office for Urban Initiatives at Fuller, which is supervised by School of Theology Dean Howard Loewen, falls under the umbrella of the Institute for Urban Initiatives.
For more information about the project, contact Sofia Herrera at 626.304.3753 or email@example.com.