QI of Paradise, California, USA
It is my pleasure to nominate Stephanie Gregorio as our QI Paradise Volunteer of the Year, she epitomizes dedication to serving others. She served as the Director of our Paradise Salvation Army for many years. In that capacity she found that there was a small, but very needy population of homeless in our ridge community, that were not being served.
Unlike most communities our homeless were not transient, they were predominately local residents fallen on hard times. They camped or lived in cars, during the summer that was doable but our winters are cold, rainy and sometimes snowy.
Gregorio and a small committee spent more than a year looking into how to best address this problem. After much research they adopted a nomadic homeless shelter model, became a 501c3, earned a grant to cover insurance and some basic housekeeping needs and established a sheltering program to run during the winter months. Stephanie quit her paid position to become the unpaid, volunteer director, and force behind the implementation of SHOR, Sojourner’s House on the Ridge. SHORs mission is to provide the Ridge’s homeless with safe, secure, overnight shelter, giving them the dignity and stability needed to strive towards self-sufficiency and permanent housing.
Gregorio negotiated a partnership with another non-profit, to utilize their building as a seven days a week intake/welcome center, and found local churches to provide a night of shelter on a rotating basis, most providing the evening meal. The next morning they are transported back to the intake center and given a “to go” breakfast.
The program is run by volunteers, but Gregario is on deck 24/7, coordinating volunteers, food, clothing and other needs, her work days are long and she does it selflessly. Our Quota group has helped by volunteering and donating towels, toiletries, warm clothing.
She has organized an amazing, needed program and we are so proud of her! www.shorparadise.webs.com
Submitted by Carol Peterson,
President, QI of Paradise