2017 Proposal: CSS Clare House

Name of Nonprofit Organization: Catholic Social Services: Clare House

 Name: Amanda Moser

Short Project Description (50 words): We are seeking funds to support a play garden at Clare House.  This garden would be safe, restorative and fun greenspace for families experiencing homelessness, staying at the shelter 

The Big Why (300 words): 

Clare House needs an outdoor space for kids and moms to play and recuperate in as they work their way out of homelessness with the support of services of CSS.

Clare House is Anchorage’s 24-hour emergency shelter for homeless women with children and expectant mothers.  Women and children who are sleeping in their cars or couch surfing show up at our doors every day.  Last year, Clare House provided safe refuge for 539 women and children.

All services at Clare House are designed to lead families back on a practical path to economic stability and self-sufficiency.  As part of our continuous effort to find solutions for homelessness, Clare House offers a ladder up Progressive Housing program.  Moms and kids may stay for up to 2 years, provided they save funds and work on an individualized plan with a Family Support Case Managers. Family Support Case Managers are a lifeline for residents by ensuring a safe, clean and secure living environment, and most importantly connecting them with resources to find permanent housing.

Currently, there is nowhere on the Clare House property for children to play outside.   A recent client survey showed that moms would find a safe and secure play area for children a much welcomed addition to the new Clare House.   Benefits of an outdoor respite area and playground area would positively impact the clients at Clare House.   Many of the women and children have experienced some type of trauma before arriving at Clare House.   Studies show that spending time outdoors can be very therapeutic to those that have experienced trauma.

Clare House has existing land adjacent to the shelter which is a prime area to create a safe and secure outdoor play, sitting, and respite area.   Starting this spring, we will be prepping the land outside of Clare House for installation of two age appropriate play areas and a walking/sitting area for moms.

The Bottom Line (Budget summary and what they’re asking for):

 We are requesting a grant of $4000 from the Alaska Women’s Giving Circle to go towards the Clare House Play Garden.  The overall budget of the project is approximately $159,000.  This budget supports a play space that is accessible to all as well as numerous special area projects, such as planter boxes, benches and a small stage.  It is possible to complete a basic park for less funding but we are seeking funds from numerous partners and advocates in the community in order to build a strong, long lasting and accessible space for all of the families that come through Clare House.

The funds requested from the Women’s Giving Group could go towards  a particular piece of the project, like landscaping or fencing, or could just contribute to the play garden overall.  This project will contribute significantly to the health and wellbeing of our participants at Clare House, we thank you for your consideration.