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

We’re excited to support Casa de Noche Buena.  Right now, there are two ways.
  • We're organizing a smallgroup/team to discern and respond to Casa's changing needs as they grow and develop.  Would you like to join?
  • Just like any family, they have an ever-shifting shopping list.  Needed now: hand warmers; toothbrushes/paste; gloves; umbrellas; larger sized yoga/stretch pants; wipes; individually wrapped Q tips and feminine hygiene products.
To find out more about a service team, or to drop off donations, please contact Carle Mowel  (cmowell@comcast.net).   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