Whittier Connection’s is proud to be a part of the 100K registry movement.  Whittier Connections was started by Whittier Area First Day Coalition in collaboration with PATH and 100K homes.  I had the pleasure of being a part of the Glendale registry and participating in their Boot Camp before First Day organized its registry group.  The Boot Camp was a great experience and incredibly useful for any community wishing to undertake a registry!

First Day is a six month emergency shelter that houses 45 single adults and provides free drug and alcohol programs.  First Day has been very successful over the past 10 years in helping those who seek our services.  However, First Day knows that it has not been able to reach the chronically homeless.  As a result, we have decided to add services of a “Housing First” approach for the chronically homeless.

After deciding to take a Housing First approach, First Day held an Executive Leadership meeting with the key stakeholders in Whittier which resulted in a committee of approximately 30 stakeholders.  This committee includes the Mayor, City Council, the Whittier Police Department, Chamber of Commerce, Whittier College, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, and key homeless related agencies.  This committee has given First Day tremendous credibility in the community and the local press.

In order to gain community recognition, First Day has also done presentations for the local service clubs and churches.  We have asked these groups to be the eyes and ears on the ground in order to help locate potential registrants.  First Day has also stressed that this is not a one time arrangement but the beginning of a long term initiative to house our chronically homeless neighbors.

First Day held Community Leadership meetings on Friday, October 7th and Saturday October 8th.  The purpose of these meetings was to educate and sign up volunteers for the actual registry.  We are currently preparing for our volunteer training, which will be held Thursday, November 10 between 4:00-6:00 p.m.  We need more volunteers to help us reach out to and house our homeless neighbors in Whittier.  If you are interested in lending a helping hand, please contact us at 562-472-2950.

Ted Knoll is the Executive Director at Whittier Area First Day Coalition


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