Volunteer & Emergency Services

Provides a means for community members to participate in and directly support after county residents in need.

The mission of Volunteer & Emergency Services is to provide supplemental support for recipients of EHSD when no other resources are available.

  • It maintains the quality of life through providing food, housing assistance, house-hold furnishings, clothing, and utility assistance, etc.
  • It enhances the quality of life by sending children to cultural events, summer camp, and by providing them with back-to-school clothes, backpacks and school supplies, thousands of new books each year, and new toys and clothes during the holidays.
  • It removes barriers to employment that are not funded by existing programs.

Below is a partial list of services provided to recipients of the Employment & Human Services Department by Volunteer & Emergency Services. Volunteer & Emergency Services is our unit, while VESTIA is our private, non-profit, (501 (c) 3) agency in part-nership with Contra Costa County EHSD. All of the VES programs are available to EHSD clients by referral from our CalWorks and Children and Family Services

Emergency Food Program

Emergency food for those without enough to cover their necessities of life. Ap-proximately 500 people served per month through various programs including our pantries, food- cards and food boxes for families active to CFS. Seasonal pro-grams at Easter, Thanksgiving and winter holidays also.

Season of Sharing for Contra Costa County

VES administers the Season of Sharing Fund for our County. Grant monies from the Fund can help families in any number of ways, such as paying rent so they can stay in their home, covering a security deposit so they can transition out of a homeless shelter, or buying a wheelchair or other essential medical equipment that they couldn’t otherwise afford. To apply or more information call 925-521-5065.

Project Ready to Learn

Each fall thousands of new children enter the education systems throughout our county without the resources to have a new backpack and supplies. These chil-dren are at a serious disadvantage and are not able to get the most out of their educational experience. The Project Ready to Learn helps those children with Back-to-school supplies and filled backpacks for CalWorks & foster children. This is facilitated through a partnership with the Contra Costa Times and hundreds of donors.

Ready to Work Closet

The Ready-To-Work Clothes Closet Program goals are to enhance the confidence and job readiness of CalWorks Clients by assisting them in choosing appropriate attire for interviews and providing each client with one or more outfits appropri-ate for their emergency or scheduled interview. Clients may utilize the clothing closet by receiving referrals from their Employment & Human Services Worker.

Kids to Camp

Kids to Camp Program sends EHSD & Foster children county-wide to residential camps each summer. VES is currently working with Opportunity Camp and Royal Family Kids Camp. Clients may participate by direct referral from their Employ-ment and Human Services Worker.

Holiday Helpers Warehouse

Holiday Helpers Warehouse – to serve EHSD families during the holidays, provid-ing new toys, books, food certificates, canned food, shoe-cards, and warm, new clothing for families for whom there are no other resources. Clients may partici-pate by direct referral from their Employment & Human Services Worker.

Angel Tree Program

Holiday gifts for children in foster care – through Volunteer & Emergency Serv-ice’s Angel Tree Program. Every foster child will get brand new toys. Clients may participate by direct referral from their Children and Family Services Worker.

Kidz on Target

A partnership with Soroptomists International of Pittsburg & Target whereby approx. 100 low income children living in Pittsburg or Bay Point receive $150 worth of new school clothing as well as backpacks and school supplies. Clients may participate by referral from their Employment & Human Services Worker.

Scholarships

Scholarships for foster youth active to the Independent Living Skills Program. These youngsters may have been in foster care most of their lives. When they graduate from high school and if they are going onto college or trade school, they may apply for a scholarship. Candidates should be current ILSP foster youth. Recommendations of candidates should be received by VESTIA from the ILSP program or the youth’s social worker directly. Recipients should be strongly in-tending to attend either an academic or vocational training program.

Volunteer and Emergency Services also provide many other services to help the population in need, some of those programs are:

  • Books for young children accom-panying their parents to one of our office locations. New books are given annually to children to keep.
  • Furniture /bedding/kitchen kits obtained for and delivered to clients in Central/East County. Done in collaborate with Contra Costa Interfaith Coalition.
  • Funding (limited) for the special needs of children in CalWorks and fos-ter care through special Life Enhancement funds and the VESTIA Children’s Fund.
  • Toys, crayons, and coloring books and emergency diapers for use by staff when interviewing families who bring in young children and who are not prepared to change their babies and/or with activities for their youngsters during the in-terview.
  • Clothing/layettes requested by and delivered to staff for needy recipi-ents. Includes clothing for CalWorks children and parents and foster children.