Each month, COTS staff are proud to share news of our programs, our community, and our clients as they work towards permanent housing. Thank you for reading and for supporting our work to end homelessness in Sonoma County!

Thank you for Joining Us for our First Virtual Town Hall!

Our first Virtual Town Hall took place yesterday afternoon, and we were delighted to see everyone and share insights about COTS’ financial model, our strategic plan, and how we adapt to change in a changing world.

Thank you to everyone who joined! If you couldn’t make it but would like to watch a recording of the event, you can do so by visiting the link below, or by clicking here.

If you’d like to join us for our next Virtual Town Hall, New Client Offerings in 2020, on Tues., November 10th 6-7pm, you can do so by visiting the link below. Learn about new programs COTS staff are launching in 2020, including Pathways (a set of offerings to support those pursuing sobriety) and Client Enrichment (including the return of Rent Right, Work Ready, and other opportunities for volunteers). You can register by visiting the link below:

COTS Virtual Town Hall: New Client Offerings in 2020
 Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020 06:00-7:00 PM
Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here

Art Sale for COTS

This Saturday, Oct. 17, Petaluma artist Deborah Garber will be displaying her pastels, paintings and prints in an exhibition and sale benefiting COTS. The artwork ranges in size from tiny to wall-sized, and will be for sale on a “Pay what you wish” basis, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to COTS. The event takes place at the Out West Garage Roadhouse at 321 2nd St., Petaluma on Saturday, October 17 from 10am-4pm. Masks required.

You can RSVP for the event by clicking here.

The link to purchase/donate for the day of the event is: https://give.cots.org/deborahgarber

Staff Profile: Daisy

Every night is different at the Mary Isaak Center.

“Sometimes nobody’s up,” Daisy Reece, one of our graveyard site coordinators says. “I’ll spend the time cleaning and organizing and just taking care of things.” The lights in the lobby are low, and when she walks through the dorm for to check on everyone, all she hears are snuffles and snores and wheezes.

Other nights are a different story. The hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. can hold enough conflict, triumph, tragedy and farce to fill an entire season of a prestige television.

Whether it’s helping someone calm down after a bout with night terrors, consoling someone who’s just lost a family member, congratulating someone on finding a job, or listening to the plot of someone’s favorite movie, Daisy always has one goal in mind. “I want to build a rapport,” she says. “If I can build a rapport with them, if we can all build a rapport, they’re going to do better at COTS,” she says. “They’re going to be able to move on to the next step.”

Daisy gives people what they need most, says Shelter Manager Robin Phoenix: a kind ear. “There’s something about nighttime that makes people want to talk,” Robin says. “And Daisy is the right person for that. She helps people feel better. And that helps them move forward.”

The best tool in Daisy’s toolkit?  Fresh air. “I know it works,” she says. “Going outside gives you a different perspective.”

A two-year COTS veteran, Daisy’s ultimate goal is to teach young children. In fact, in addition to her work at COTS, she’s pursuing a teaching certificate in Childhood Development at the junior college and working at a Montessori pre-school.

How does she do it all?

It helps to be an insomniac. “I have to really burn out to get a good sleep. I need to be this busy,” she says.

Daisy loves her work at COTS “because I’ve always been a helping person. I want to see other people do better.”

In return, “There are so many clients who uplift me,” says Daisy. “I love to hear the way other people think.  I love to see every night small changes to where people do a 180 in their lives.” She marvels at the talents and wisdom of our residents. “So many artists,” she says. “So many people who understand computers or who have great stories. I learn so much.”

“But you also end up learning a lot about your own character [doing this work],” she continues. She’s the only one staffing the shelter at night, so “it’s things that other people don’t see.” By putting in the effort to be kind, resourceful, creative and hopeful, she’s learning about her own abilities, setting the stage for her next chapter.

A Sonoma County native, Daisy heard a lot about COTS growing up and while working as a security guard. “People talked about COTS and it made me curious. I wanted to learn more.” With the ambition of running her own pre-school one day, she pays attention to every aspect of COTS’ organization and management style.

We and our residents are lucky to have Daisy on the team.

The COTS Hour-at-Home – Thurs., Dec. 3

You may already know that this year, to prioritize the health and safety of our community, The COTS Hour is going Virtual! Instead of our usual breakfast, we will be airing The COTS Hour-at-Home on Thursday, Dec. 3 on YouTubeFacebook, and our website at cots.org. This will allow us to expand our social reach while maintaining social distance, and we are excited to try a new format in 2020.

Links to the event will be provided closer to the event. But for now, you can help us prepare in one of two ways!

1. Sign up to be a “Table Captain”

While this year, we won’t be renting tables, you can still spread the news of the broadcast – and COTS’ work to end homelessness – with your friends, coworkers, and family. Host a viewing party and share the recording with your network for maximum impact. Table Captains will receive a special swag bag prior to this year’s event, and other brand new benefits in 2020! Email Jamieson Bunn, Director of Development, at jbunn@cots.org or call (707-765-6530 ext. 100 to learn more or read our Table Captain 101 here.
2. Sponsor the event

Event sponsors make our work to end homelessness possible and set an example of philanthropy at a time when it’s needed most. And this year, we’re offering even broader visibility to our community than ever before with a virtual event with no guest limit and three broadcast times throughout the day on Dec. 3! Event sponsors receive the same benefits as Table Captains plus publicity for your business through COTS’ website, social media, and the event itself. Learn more by emailing Jamieson Bunn, Director of Development, at jbunn@cots.org or call (707-765-6530 ext. 100 – and check out our Sponsorship Benefits package here.

Thank you for your investment in our neighbors experiencing homelessness! Together, we can make sure everyone has the opportunity to find and keep permanent housing in Sonoma County.

Feeling uncertain about watching a virtual event? We made this helpful How-To Guide to show you how!