Kiwanis Club of Monterey

Today there are patches of crumbling asphalt and neglected landscape with a fenced outdoor space….nothing resembling a playground. But in a few short months Casa de Noche Buena will fill a void, providing short term shelter and long term solutions to the most vulnerable in our community. In November 2020, the only shelter on the Monterey Peninsula serving homeless women and families with children will open. Currently women and families are forced to live in vehicles, buildings not meant for human habitation or wherever they can find place outdoors in the elements. The 90-day shelter will provide warm beds, a roof over their heads and meals, as well as comprehensive case management; access to health mental health, and substance abuse services; linkages to income, education, employment and housing; and a variety of children’s services. A new safe and secure play ground has been designed and would make this project complete.

It is so important for kids and parents to spend time outside together. To allow children to play and be children where it is safe and secure. The Casa Noche Buena support team are so excited to include a safe and secure playground for families to enjoy together. Because of the amazing group that has been brought together by the Community Human Services Team and The Gathering for Women-Monterey non-profit, the vision of a safe and supportive environment that allows for women and families to access long-term housing and economic stability is almost a reality. Through our surveys of parents with housing insecurities, it was discovered that homeless parents often times have children with special needs, Therefore in preparation for breaking ground on the playground/yard area, the Kiwanis Club of Monterey Bay CA and Kiwanis Club of Seaside CA have secured a special donation of an adaptive swing and support interactive activity stations for kids with special needs. This will allow all children, no matter their ability to enjoy and thrive in the Casa de Noche Buena playground. Winning this contest will provide the needed funds to complete the building and help maintain the playground as part of the program.

Additional Information

What organizations will support this playground project?: The primary ongoing support and maintenance will be provided by the Community Human Services of Monterey Community and The Gathering for Women-Monterey (a 501c3 nonprofit that’s provides services for homeless women and their families). Community Human Services has active participation in formal collaborations with the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers, Community Action Partnership, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Collaborative, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Monterey County Children’s Council, the Department of Social Services, Probation, and numerous Monterey County non-profit organizations, Additional support has been committed by the city of Seaside, the California -Nevada- Hawaii Kiwanis District Division 43 Kiwanis family —Seaside Kiwanis Club, California State University Monterey Bay CKI and local Key Club members.
How will you ensure your playground is ready to be installed by Kiwanis One Day 2020?: Over the last five years, the Kiwanis Club of Monterey Bay has supported homeless and foster youth throughout Monterey County California, Therefore there is full club commitment to partner with the Seaside Kiwanis Club in insuring that this playground has a strong support system for the children at Casa Niche Buena. There is an ongoing funding effort to ensure that the playground is in place as soon as fiscally possible On Kiwanis One Day 2020 the California-Nevada-Hawaii Division 43 Kiwanis Clubs, Key Clubs and California State University Monterey Bay CKI will join forces to clear and prepare the site for the installation of equipment. As equipment is purchased and delivered additional items will be put in place. Sponsorship and playground on its way signage will be visible at grand opening in a November 2020. Large scale ribbon cutting and dedication ceremonies will be scheduled for National Earth Day in 2021.
Please feel free to include additional comments about your application.: In 2019, Community Human Services and Gathering for Women-Monterey received $1,287,658 in Homeless Emergency Aid Program grant funding to rehabilitate the vacant Olympia building into what will be known as Casa de Noche Buena. They have received approximately $160,000 in additional funding for this capital project but are still about $300,000 short of the capital fundraising goal that included the play ground and children’s library and resource room. Here is the link to the vision, design and donor campaign that has been in place to complete this project. Our local Kiwanis Clubs and Key Clubs have committed to sponsoring the reading room and provide ongoing support for he playground/yard. Winning The Landscapes Structures Contest would go a long way to helping us close the gap on the final $50,000 needed to complete the Children's Playground/Yard project.