Learn about "Casa de Noche Buena"

Church in the Forest is committed to being a Light in the Forest for homeless women, beginning in November 2020!

Community Human Services and Gathering for Women are about to open the first-ever shelter for homeless women and families with children on the Monterey Peninsula. The shelter is called Casa de Noche Buena.

This summer some of our own church members became involved in this exciting collaboration. In October they brought a proposal to our church board, asking our church to engage with Casa as volunteers, individual supporters, or even more – would our church itself become a significant financial supporter?

Our church board said, “Yes,” to all three dimensions.

Why are we committing our church to Casa? Homelessness in Monterey County has become a humanitarian crisis. The most recent Monterey County homeless census identified 2,422 homeless people in Monterey County, of which 35% were female and 25% were families. Yet, this startling number is probably an undercount by half or more, according to experts.

Casa de Noche Buena is one solution. Located in Seaside, Casa will provide guests with a warm, safe place to stay (as long as 90 days) while receiving intensive case management and supportive services, including linkages to employment and housing and mental health and substance abuse services based upon their individual needs.

The shelter will feature 10 bedrooms, a laundry room, a kitchen, a multi-purpose dining room and a lounge, and accommodate between 28 and 36 people depending upon the ages of the children.

How will Church in the Forest help?

  1. The church board voted to give $10,000 to underwrite the cost of build-out and furnishing a double resident room. Our church name will be displayed near “our” room, recognizing our donation.
  2. Individual members and church small groups are encouraged to “shower” Casa with homewares, purchased through Amazon, where Casa has established a registry of needed items. (Please open the tab How To Help)
  3. In the future there will be volunteer opportunities to serve Casa’s families, such as reading to children, tutoring all ages, mentoring women, leading art and craft activities, etc. We’ll keep you informed of those volunteer opportunities.
Casa de Noche Buena location shown on map at the intersection of Olympia Ave and Noche Buene St in Seaside, CA

Casa de Noche Buena location shown on map at the intersection of Olympia Ave and Noche Buene St in Seaside, CA

You can help Casa complete their special home. The items listed on the Amazon Smile wish list will help create a comfortable and welcoming environment for the women and families the shelter will serve. Below you will find the direct link to the Wish List. Two important notes:
  1. The Casa shipping address will automatically be entered, when you order smaller items. (Make sure you don’t ship to yourself!)
  2. If you choose a larger item (like a bed frame), your order form will immediately alert you that an alternative address is necessary. Please enter this warehouse address: CHS, 2560 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940
  3. If you wish to receive a letter of thanks and tax information, you must enter your name and address in the Add Gift Option box that is a small box that appears after you have selected payment. Additionally, your personal receipt will still be on your credit card statement and this donation can be claimed as an in-kind donation.
Your support is sincerely appreciated. A tour of the Casa Shelter will be arranged as soon as it is operational. Now SHOP! Click here to Shop for Casa. If you would prefer to make a donation by check, please address it to: Gathering for Women, 147 Eldorado Street, Monterey, CA 93940 attn: Casa Questions? Please contact Carle Mowell at cmowell@comcast.net