31st Annual Friendship Center Holiday Party a Success
The MHA's Friendship Center Holiday Party was a smashing success. A picturesque view overlooking the water at Leo Ryan Park in Foster City and a sunny day made for a perfect holiday party. Guests were provided with a festive atmosphere that encouraged many to get up and dance or socialize with friends. Volunteers, staff, and MHA Board members were busy serving snacks, beverages, lunch and dessert to the 275 guests in attendance.
View the Holiday Party photo album.
Angela Bruno-Castro, MHA's Friendship Center Coordinator, presented recognition awards to 9 clients who had outstanding participation in the Centers in 2005. Consumer volunteers, Larry Nehring and Mary Norvitski were also recognized for generously donating their time and talent by helping their peers in the Centers. A disc jockey played holiday tunes and took music requests from the individuals who crowded the dance floor. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elf made a grand appearance after lunch to send holiday greetings to the crowd and distribute gifts to all.
This annual event was made possible through the generous support of many individuals in the community who made a donation to the MHA's Operation Reindeer Fund Drive. The funds raised also provided special holiday meals and gifts for residents in the Spring Street Shelter and St. Matthew Hotel.
We thank the many individuals, groups and organizations that volunteered their time to help make this party possible: Friendship Center Volunteers, St. Charles Church Outreach Group, Community Transitions Center (CTC) Palo Alto VA, Cordilleras Mental Health Center, MHA Staff, MHA Board Members, San Mateo County Mental Health Clinics, Mary Donathan, Sandy Whitlark, Naty Gomez, Mateo Lodge, Inc., CAMINAR, Margaret Taylor, Supervisor Rich Gordon, Legislative Aide Jeremy Dennis.
Belmont Apartments Welcomes New Resident Manager
Michael Maylan is MHA's new resident manager at the Belmont Apartments. He lives on-site in the one bedroom unit on the second floor. Michael collects the rent, makes minor repairs, coordinates contract workers for the property, and keeps the building clean. He also meets with each tenant before their move-in to discuss responsibilities and expectations, how to be a good neighbor, and information they need to have about their new home and surrounding community. Michael makes coffee available to the residents each morning in the Community Room. He also attends the weekly meetings for the Belmont Apartment residents and answers their questions about the complex. Michael's office is on-site across from the Community Room and his office hours are 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. during the week.
Michael left the corporate world to spend more time in providing human services. He has been a volunteer soccer coach for 20 years and a mentor for troubled teens since 1980. During the holidays, Michael obtained community donations of new household items such as pots, pans, utensils, microwave ovens and toaster ovens for the residents. Thanks to Michael, all of the residents were provided with practical gifts and a special holiday in their new apartments.
Spring Street Shelter Renovations to Begin
Thanks to the State of California Housing and Community Development Emergency Housing Assistance Program (MHC EHAP) grant received by MHA in 2005, the renovation of the Spring St. Shelter will begin soon and will include an overall redesign and upgrade. The lounge area, where residents gather for meals and meetings, will be enlarged and made more user friendly with the front door re-located to the corner of the building and the receptionist located inside the front door in an open space to greet residents and visitors. Awnings will be added to the windows facing Spring Street. New storage and bench seating, covered by new awnings, will transform the patio into a much more pleasant area.
See three illustrations of the planned renovations.
A new heating and air conditioning system will be added to the building and the transitional housing units. Built-in captain's beds with storage below and cubicle units with a closet and small dresser for each resident will be added to the dormitories. Residents and staff will remain in the buildings during the renovation and services will not be interrupted. Roger Hagman, A.I.A. is providing the design for the rehabilitation and the contractor is yet to be selected.
Support the MHA by Making a Donation Today
Your generosity will help in providing much needed services and programs to persons with mental illness. Click on the Donate Now Button below to get linked to the MHA's donation page.
Visit the MHA website at www.mhasmc.org.