Veterans Services

Contributing toward the support of our local veterans through the VSO General Fund is a great opportunity for the members of the community to give back and thank veterans for their services.

Homeless Fund

Donations to the Homeless Fund will help supply toiletries, clothing, identification card/application fees, furnishings, or cooking utensils/appliances, or may fund expenses like a utility bill or car repair for those experiencing, at risk for, or exiting homelessness.

Step Up

Your donations to the Step Up program will be used for collateral items (i.e., T-shirts, backpacks, etc.), venue rental, event food, printing, speakers' fees, awards, materials, and other items associated with Step Up—a movement to encourage youth to participate in extracurricular activities, foster positive associations, and connect to constructive social networks.

Suicide Prevention Task Force (SPTF)

SPTF envisions a county without suicide and aims to accomplish this by implementing a full range of strategies, starting from prevention and early intervention. Your donations to the SPTF will help increase prevention and early intervention services, and help our community members better understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide risk.

At-Risk Youth (Human Services)

The funds donated to the Human Services At-Risk Youth fund benefit youth who are participating in an employment program and working to make the transition to adulthood and self-sufficiency. This program helps youth in need of emergency monies for necessities such as transportation, work apparel, utilities, medical, dental, and prescription expenses.

K/T AAA - Kings/Tulare Area Agency on Aging

The Kings/Tulare Area Agency on Aging helps provide programs and activities for local senior citizens, from arts and crafts to Medicare counseling, line dancing to home-delivered meals. Your donations to the Area Agency on Aging will help us continue to provide a wide range of services and activities to encourage older Americans to remain healthy, active, and involved in the community.

Tulare County Parks–Lily Pond

For more than five decades the Lily Pond was a popular water feature in Mooney Grove Park. Due to the increasing cost of repair and maintenance over time, the Lily Pond is been non-functional for the past 15 years. To avoid demolition and to honor the history of the Lily Pond, the County is seeking donations from the community to help repair and restore the Lily Pond.

Addressing Homelessness in Tulare County

Homelessness. That word carries a lot of weight, a lot of value judgments, concerns, fears, and worry. It also can convey hope, determination, and empathy. There are members of our community who are sleeping in ditches. They find shelter in hole-ridden tents adorned with items that, like their residents, have been discarded by society. They are daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and sometimes all alone, having lost all family. We pass by them on our way to work, while we’re stopping to get coffee, and when we travel to get groceries or go to the gym. While we go about our days never thinking twice about these privileges, those we pass are struggling to survive. It behooves one to wonder what is being done for the less fortunate amongst us.

The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) is partnering with numerous governmental agencies, community organizations, and individuals who are dedicated to changing the future for unhoused individuals. We’ll briefly explore a few areas of action so you’re better aware of the efforts that are underway right here in our county.

Earlier this year, HHSA formed the Homeless Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) to bring resources from across our branches to help better coordinate and deliver services to the homeless population. This team includes representatives from mental health, alcohol and drug specialists, a self-sufficiency counselor, a health education assistant, a social services worker from Aging Services, as well as fiscal staff. The team collaborates with community partners, including each of our cities, the Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance, our hospitals, including Kaweah’s Street Medicine Team, and numerous other entities. It takes a complex and well-coordinated approach to help unravel the knot of traumatic barriers that too often keep people on the streets.

If you think the pandemic has been hard, imagine weathering the last year and a half while being homeless. One of the major activities of the Homeless MDT has been working with Public Health and our medical partners around vaccination efforts. Partners including Kaweah Health, Adventist Health, Family HealthCare Network, Cherry Clinics, and Sierra View have helped us host targeted outreach vaccination events for the homeless in Visalia, Tulare, and Porterville. One of our most successful events was held at the county’s designated Warming Center, which was located at the Lamp Liter Inn this year. These efforts include additional community partners such as housing navigators from the Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance, outreach works from Kings View’s PATH program, advocates from Central Valley Empowerment Alliance, and the nonprofit Salt+Light Works. The primary efforts are targeted at providing vaccines; however, we maximize the time by offering a plethora of services during the post-inoculation observation period so we can aid participants in connecting with vital services.

What is one way to reduce homelessness? Increase access to homes. Project RoomKey and Project HomeKey are two major projects that are supported through the State. Project RoomKey aims to both provide a place for COVID+ homeless individuals to quarantine, as well as a program that provides temporary non-congregate shelter for homeless people who are at an increased risk for negative outcomes from COVID-19 due to their underlying medical conditions. This project has placed hundreds of vulnerable homeless individuals into motel rooms throughout the pandemic. The related Project HomeKey helps to extend these efforts by renovating old motels into permanent supportive housing to make a long-term difference. These projects involve extensive collaboration with the Resource Management Agency, General Services, Environmental Health, transportation companies, UpHoldings, Turning Point of Central California, the Homeless Alliance, and many, many more partners.

Are any other substantial activities underway? Yes. Recently, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved the initial plan of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). One major element in our local plan was the inclusion of funding for multiple efforts to reduce homelessness. This includes funding for homeless navigation centers, housing projects, tiny home villages, and related efforts. These funds will help provide access to housing and services to address barriers to stability. This is our pathway forward to help lift people out of the streets and into hope.

Needs are abundant, and caring and compassionate people help to make a difference. Our funding streams have limits, and our homeless brothers and sisters have many needs. You can help make a difference by contributing to our Friends of Tulare County account. Donated funds will help us address the complex needs of those we help that other funding does not cover.

To donate, visit the Friends of Tulare County website main landing page for donation information or visit the Tulare County Homeless Fund page to make a direct donation to the program.