May we celebrate you?

Please join us at The Big Thanks on Tuesday, October 15!

This is our annual celebration of all our supporters—volunteers, donors, partners and advocates. Here’s what our CEO Chuck Fernandez shared in a recent letter to the Argus Courier.

EDITOR: As CEO at COTS, I write a lot of thank you letters and make a lot of thank you calls. Right now, thanks to our supporters, on any given night, we’re able to provide supports to over 400 people in permanent housing and over 140 people in emergency shelter.

Throughout all our programs in our last fiscal year, we served over 1,200 people.

That’s a lot to be grateful for.

We usually thank our supporters one-by- one and group-by-group.

But once a year, we invite them to come together to celebrate what, together, they make possible.

We invite all our supporters — donors, volunteers, partners and advocates — to join us from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 15 at The Petaluma Woman’s Club, 518 B Street, for a wonderful evening of gratitude, great food and drink, live music, fun activities, friends and an update on our work.

Thirty-one years ago, this community willed COTS into being. You’ve stayed committed to the cause, donating thousands of dollars and volunteer hours year after year. Together, we’ve sheltered and housed thousands of people and made the community a better place for everyone. Please let us honor you.

The Big Thanks is free event. Please RSVP at
Chuck Fernandez

RSVP Today!

Day Use Services at the Mary Isaak Center

Over the last few months, staff at the Mary Isaak Center have found new ways to welcome those in need to our campus to improve their health and wellness. In July, we expanded our meal service to the community so that anyone experiencing hunger can join us for both lunch and dinner. At the same, we opened our shower and laundry facilities on Wednesdays and Fridays, so that people living on the street might come in from the elements and have a chance to get clean. With so many new programs underway, we created a new postcard for our community to provide information on all COTS’ Day Use services. You can view the postcard here or on our website to learn more.

We are especially grateful to the Redwood Gospel Mission for partnering with COTS for our Friday shower program. And thank you to all our supporters for helping us provide food and comfort to our clients and the wider community. We could not do it without you!

What are we grateful for this week?

A dad and his son moved from our Kids First Family Shelter into our Integrity Housing program yesterday! That’s permanent rental housing that will provide both dad and son a chance to regroup and move on with their lives!

A single woman who’d been staying at our Mary Isaak Center also found her own apartment yesterday. She will be moving in soon and putting homelessness behind her.

As we celebrate these transitions, we are looking for volunteers to help welcome our families to their new homes. Community Engagement Specialist Diana Morales is gathering materials for welcome home baskets: cleaning, kitchen, and bathroom supplies inside a laundry basket. These baskets give clients all they need to care for their new space. If you can help, please contact Diana at

Find out more about welcome baskets here

Housing Navigators at COTS are tasked with helping clients find and keep permanent housing. Their work puts them on the front lines of the housing crisis, and each day they see firsthand how the lack of affordable units affects our community.

In the face of our housing crisis, how do you stay motivated and hopeful?

Gold, Housing Navigator:
You have to stay focused on what’s in front of you what it is that I have to get done for that day.  If I were to extrapolate my worries and my concerns on a larger social scale, I think it would be a very paralyzing thing to deal with.  It’s a good thing to think about those things once in a while, but in order for me to help the next client on my list get housed, I have to stay focused.

Crista, Housing Navigator:
Every win here is huge, and I think that no one is greater than the next, so to keep that in mind, that every day is a win, whether it be our pilot shower project or our laundry day, whether it be the additional dinner opening up to the public, or whether it’s another person off the street into the shelter or from the shelter into permanent housing.  Every win is monumental, so we cannot just look at the big end goal as the victory because every day there’s small victories that keep this place running.

Marge Popp, left, with fellow long-time volunteer Edgar Marroquin, right

Volunteer team spotlight

Marge Popp’s Tuesday Team at Mary’s Table has cooked together for decades. Three of the four date their volunteering to over 20 years ago when the kitchen was operated by the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

On Tuesday, after putting some pork on to stew, they took some time to tell us what brings them back to the Mary Isaak Center every week.

“Feeding the hungry. It doesn’t get more obvious than that,” said one. “I’m blessed in this life, and I want to share with others.”

Marge shared that interacting with our diners is an important reminder to her to be grateful for the things she has.

The socializing isn’t bad either. “We’re like extended family, like sisters,” said one of the Tuesday crew. They’ve seen each other through family joys and sorrows, through illnesses, challenges and triumphs. “Sometimes I think we know each too well,” she laughed.

If you’re interested in joining a team or just volunteering once or twice, please complete a volunteer application at

Find out about Volunteering

Save the Date: The COTS Hour is December 5

We can’t wait to share our work and our gratitude with you at 8 a.m., Thursday, December 5 at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building, for the COTS Hour: our annual breakfast and COTS‘ largest fundraiser of the year.

This free event will give guests an inside look at our life-saving programs, and introduce you to a client whose life has been changed by your support.

This year’s story will inspire you, and show guests how every community member can play a role in serving, uplifting, and healing those in need.

Breakfast is catered by Preferred Sonoma Catering and Petaluma Coffee & Tea. Thank you to all our donors and sponsors for your generous support. Your investment makes miracles possible, and we are so excited to share your impact with our community!

You can RSVP by clicking here, or by calling Eileen Morris at (707) 765-6530 x128.

RSVP Today!