Community Files: Santa Clara County Provides $ 75,000 to Expand Avenidas’ Rainbow Collective Program | News

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This week, read the latest information on Avenidas’ Rainbow Collective program securing more Santa Clara County funds, Google’s quarter-million dollar grant to JobTrain, and promotions at the county attorney’s office.

Recognizing the need to serve seniors in the LGBTQ + community, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently approved an additional $ 75,000 to extend Avenidas Rainbow Collective program until June.

“Two years later and the program is thriving,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a statement. Press release of December 14. “The Rainbow Collective has become a trusted community resource helping LGBTQ + seniors connect and access services in their local community.”

The program was offered for the first time in 2019 as a partnership between the county and Avenidas, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit seniors services organization, to fill a service gap in the northern end of the county. A $ 300,000 contract was approved at the end of this year.

The Rainbow Collective launched in early 2020, providing LGBTQ seniors with a variety of services, including opportunities for socialization, education, and case management.

A survey of LGBTQ + adults posted earlier this year identified the 5 most interesting potential activities for this group: access to free movies or other entertainment; safe walking spaces; social and group activities; LGBTQ + specific activities, services and programs; and support with technology.

On December 14, the Board of Directors approved additional funding for the program and extended it to June 30. Thomas Kingery, coordinator of the Rainbow Collective, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the program. “We look forward to continuing and expanding our services in 2022,” Kingery said.

JobTrain, a non-profit organization dedicated to vocational training, career counseling and other employment-based services, has received a grant of $ 250,000 from Google.org, the organization said this morning. week.

The funds are earmarked for the Bay Area’s economic stimulus effort, with a focus on serving the communities of East Palo Alto, Belle Haven and North Fair Oaks, which have high rates of poverty and unemployment students. The Menlo Park-based nonprofit, which serves San Mateo County and neighboring counties, also offers job placement services, quick employment services, and other workforce development programs. work.

“This quarter of a million dollar grant will help JobTrain continue our work of providing people with access to well-paying jobs and will also help them grow and achieve full economic mobility into new careers.” , JobTrain CEO Barrie Hathaway said in a December 20 press release. . “We are grateful for the support of Google.org.”

The funds are coming amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has widened the gap between low-income and high-income communities, a reality that is all too true in Silicon Valley.

“We are all looking to adapt to the challenges caused by the pandemic, and at Google that includes finding opportunities to help our hometown communities recover,” said Kristin Reinke, Google vice president of finance, in the press release. “We are grateful for the work JobTrain is doing to connect job seekers with jobs in the Bay Area, and proud to be a part of it.”

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office now has three women as assistant prosecutors, a first in the office’s history. The promotion of prosecutor Angela Bernhard to the post of assistant prosecutor comes almost 25 years after she started working for the office.

Bernhard joins a team of six deputy prosecutors, half of whom are now women, according to a December 21 press release. They are all part of District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s “inner circle”, made up of legal advisers and experts.

“Angela has pursued our public safety mission with unwavering dedication, the deepest empathy for victims and an unwavering sense of fairness,” Rosen said in the statement. “She is a powerful and inspiring leader. She is the kind of public servant that our community and I are fortunate enough to count on for the most demanding jobs – the safety of our families and friends.

Bernhard previously served as the office’s deputy chief, a position that was given to prosecutor Daniel Okonkwo, a Stanford law graduate who has worked in the office for more than 27 years. Okonkwo’s promotion makes him the first African American to hold the post, marking another milestone for the office. The first trial assistant is responsible for the management and supervision of criminal trials. The executive management position also involves being the liaison between the district attorney’s office and judges and law enforcement.

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