Posted by Pamela Arnsberger on Aug 31, 2017
Announcements and Reminders
August 31st
Sign up with Rich for the beach clean-up on Sept 16th. It will be at 9:00 AM at Beer Can Beach.
Doug announced that Rancho del Mar shop owners have been given 30 days notice to vacate their premises during the new owners planned redecorating phase. This seems to make it unlikely that many of the smaller businesses can liquidate during that period of time and survive the period of redecoration.
We welcomed Thomasjohn Wellsmiller as a new member to our club today. He is an entrepreneur and musician.
Our speaker today was Rebecca Hurdis from Siena House Maternity Home of Santa Cruz County, one of the community agencies that our club supports. She has been the executive director  of Siena House for the past three years and before that taught at colleges in the area.
Siena House is a residential program supporting and empowering pregnant women. It was founded in 2000 by local caring individuals who in the spirit of God’s love envisioned a safe residential environment for pregnant women in need. In their 17 years of existence they have served over 400 women. They have a staff of eight including an office manager, a case manager and a house manager plus 4 live-in support staff. Their annual budget is a minimal $225,000 a year.
Who do they serve? The most vulnerable, highest risk population. Ms. Hurdis pointed out that Santa Cruz county has a high percentage of homeless individuals and a high poverty rate.  The women who come in generally are part of this group. The average age is 27. Half are women of color, 30% are from south county and a quarter have not graduated from high school. 80% have substance use disorders and 94% have experienced extreme trauma.
Ms Hurdis spoke about the struggle these women have to redirect their own lives and find their own way out of poverty and move towards independence. Siena House helps them with communication, speaking and writing skills, cooking, shopping, parenting, budgeting, volunteering and other life skills during their time there. ROP and college application service are also offered.
Among the services they offer include on site case management, financial literacy, parent education, nutrition classes, prenatal and post partum yoga, support groups, doula support, and birth education. They can serve 10 women at a time. The women can stay in the House for up to one year post partum if they are meeting their objectives. They also offer adoption resources and counseling, although most women who come into the House plan to keep their child.
They are located next to Holy Cross Church in downtown Santa Cruz. For more information see or call 831.425.2229.