Housing Trust staff in 2013, reminding Turkey Trot runners that “there’s no place like home”
Homelessness prevention and assistance has been a top priority for Housing Trust since our inception 21 years ago. One form this assistance has taken was the Finally Home Grant Program, launched in 2012 in response to changing community needs and new collaborations. Proceeds from the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot have helped the most vulnerable members of our community by supporting Housing Trust’s Finally Home Program. This program used proceeds that Housing Trust received from Turkey Trot to provide one-time security deposit grants of up to $2,500 to families and individuals who were at risk of becoming homeless or who were moving from homelessness to permanent housing.
In recent years, Housing Trust disbursed Finally Home grants in batches to every eligible tenant of a number of newly opening apartment buildings supported by Housing Trust with early-stage financing. Overall, Turkey Trot proceeds provided over $2.9 million to Housing Trust, which contributed to the $2.4 million in Finally Home grants we disbursed over the history of the program. Finally Home helped 3,484 people move from experiencing homelessness into 2,690 homes of their own.
Housing Trust has had the privilege of meeting some of those 3,484 people – among them Ralph, who moved into Second Street Studios in 2019. Housing Trust loaned pre-development funding to Second Street Studios, San Jose’s first 100% permanent supportive housing project developed by First Community Housing, then covered security deposits for incoming residents. When asked about the benefits of his new home, Ralph told us, “I am able to sleep. I don’t have to worry about where I am going to find my meal for the next day. I have a place to store food and a place to cook – it is so different living in a place with a fridge and a stove.”
In the program’s early years, households that received Finally Home security deposit grants did so by having a case manager from one of our partner agencies submit their request to Housing Trust. These agencies provided counseling, budgeting, and other supportive services to their clients. Once the household was ready for permanent housing and had found an apartment, the partner agency applied for Finally Home Funding on behalf of the client and the security deposit was granted.
Housing Trust has supported the Fittest Firm, CEO Race, and Costume Contest efforts of the Turkey Trot since our earliest involvement with the race. We have been grateful to be able to give back in this small way to an event that does so much for the community – not only by financially supporting local organizations but also by providing San Jose with a beloved holiday tradition. Our participation in the Turkey Trot and The Finally Home Grant Program has now come to an end, but we know that the impact will be felt by many for years to come and we could not have done it without the support of Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. Thank you, we appreciate your partnership!