Housing for Kids –

We are dedicated to providing stable homes for public school students of Monterey County. With your support, we can break the cycle of homelessness by covering upfront rental costs to ensure that every child has a safe place to call home so they can thrive in school and beyond. Join us in making a lasting impact on homeless children's lives today.
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Looking for a solution
Help us  provide long-term housing  for  Cam Wontan public school students of Monterey County.
We welcome any opportunity to speak to your organization to raise public awareness of this issue
Dear Donors,
Thank you!
We want to extend our deepest gratitude to all of you who donated to Housing for Kids through the MC Gives Campaign. We received an astonishing $49,271 in contributions, which is remarkable for a new organization. What this tells us is that you are as concerned as we are about the 11,734 public school students in Monterey County who are without shelter. Your generous support will help us find permanent homes for at least some of these youngsters. Thank you for caring about the children in our community.
– The Housing for Kids Team
Downtown Streets Team
Housing for Kids is working with Downtown Streets Team in Salinas to assist families with school-aged children to move into homes. Housing for Kids will fund the prohibitively expensive move-in costs and Downtown Streets Team will provide half the rent for 6 months as well as critical support services.
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
To secure housing for homeless students, Housing for Kids supports a project at Monterey Peninsula Unified School District that will pay upfront rental deposits and other move-in costs for families with students in the district, enabling them to maintain a stable home.

Housing insecurity is traumatic and has long-term effects

More than  11,000 students enrolled in Monterey County school districts are homeless. Whether sleeping in a car, a tent, or on the living room floor of another family’s house, these children are experiencing the trauma of housing insecurity.

Struggling kids are either our responsibility today or everyone’s responsibility tomorrow. If we do not help our kids, the lasting impact of childhood trauma may cause long term consequences for them as adults.

Homelessness is the No. 1 cause of students' failure to graduate and those without a high school degree are 3.5 times likely to experience homelessness in the future. The time to act is now.

Read the Report
Read the Report
Monterey County Statistics
Monterey County Statistics

The Importance
of Home

Housing is crucial to health and well-being. A place to call home is the anchor of civic life in our communities, a hub from which to attend school, visit the public library, enjoy our parks and recreational spaces, go to church, join a sports team. Without that base, families and individuals are extremely handicapped in their ability to function successfully. Building an engaged and robust citizenry starts with people being secure in their places, persons and things. Supporting this kind of stable experience for elementary and high school students is critical to a solid future for all of us.

Read the Report
Read the Report
Learn More
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Learn More


Hear from the volunteers and families who have been impacted.

"I used to volunteer at a local kindergarten one morning a week. How these teachers do it, I have no idea. There were 22 students and 8 languages in this class. One boy kept coming to school and falling asleep until we realized that his family was living in the woods near the school at night. He wasn’t sleeping and was hungry. We all brought him food and let him sleep during 'circle time' while the school tried to help with the family housing.

“There aren’t many places for me to turn to for help with a special needs child. Shelters don’t cater to families like us, so we’ve been living in my car for the past few months. Downtown Streets Team is helping us get off the streets into an apartment where we can actually feel safe and where my son can continue his therapy.

“Downtown Streets Team has helped me set employment goals and I went from two part-time jobs to one full-time job. I asked my boss for a raise and I got it!! I couldn’t believe it. Now I’m working on finding a place of my own so I can provide for my daughter and keep her out of the abusive home we left with her dad.

“I’ve been living in my car for a few years now after hitting some bad luck and raising my son who is in high school. Having to see my son getting dressed for school outside of our car every day breaks my heart. Getting the help I need from Downtown Streets Team  to move in somewhere would give my son a chance to have a roof over his head for the first time since he was in elementary school. Right now, I’ve got a part time job and I’m working on my goals trying to make this happen.

Our Mission

Find and implement sustainable solutions to housing insecurity

Our goal is to lower the number of students without homes in Monterey County public schools.

Provide affordable housing for public school students of Monterey County and their families

Investors are needed for property acquisition, both existing buildings and new construction, to contribute to the stock of affordable rental units for these working families.We need property owners who are willing to contribute rental units to this effort. Our housing partner will lease or own all donated units, handling property management and resident services.

Raise public awareness about the root causes of this crisis

The fair market monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit in Monterey County is $2,675. With a $15/hour minimum wage, a parent cannot afford this rent. Homelessness increases sharply when a family is spending more than 30% of their income on rent. A family must make $9,000 per month to pay this amount of rent. That is more than three full-time jobs. Low wages in our hospitality and agricultural industries, home health care, and landscape maintenance result in hard-working parents whose school children are in crisis. Many families are one paycheck away from eviction. People don't know or understand this so they may not support the necessary efforts to address this critical issue.

Support those in the field already serving this population

Many people in local government agencies, in nonprofits, in public office and in faith-based communities are actively addressing every day the needs of those who are homeless every day. Monterey County has a robust Coalition of Homeless Services Provider that works to coordinate efforts of all entities working in this field. The county has its first coordinator of homeless response, Roxanne Wilson. All agree: Units of affordable housing are needed now. H4K wants to work with you to meet that need.

We are fortunate in Monterey County to have a wealth of nonprofits and agencies led by highly skilled and committed professionals working to address the issue of homelessness. But it is a complex and multilayered problem, and the sad truth is that no matter how much they do or how well they do it, right now the need outpaces available resources. As one of its main objectives, Housing for Kids is dedicated to supporting the existing agencies and nonprofits in whatever way possible to help them succeed in their missions of preventing, ameliorating and/or ending homelessness.

Recently Housing for Kids teamed with the Franklin Legacy Fund to provide leaders in the field of homelessness a day of respite, connection and renewal at a retreat in Carmel Valley.

Attendees were introduced to a variety of contemplative and creative practices such as mindfulness meditation, qi gong, collage, movement and improvisation for stress reduction and problem solving. The retreat was funded by the Arts Council of Monterey County with support and guidance from the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers.

Housing for Kids provided, prepared and served a beautiful lunch and snacks to participants, who included leaders from Gathering for Women, I-Help, Downtown Streets Team, Sun Street Centers, Victory Mission and Housing Resource Center.

"Today's leaders have very little time for self-reflection and self-care. Thank you…for this retreat that allowed us to identify the stressors and, dare I say, be human. The movement techniques, poems, and other creative outlets allowed me to decompress and attempt the week's challenges from a different perspective. It was a much-needed retreat, and I hope another day just like it comes around again where I can send other staff to experience that same level of relief. Thank you!" — Alexa Johnson

Unhoused mother and child

Leadership Team

Appalled by the shocking number of public school students of Monterey County who are experiencing homelessness, a  group of concerned citizens have come together to help solve this crisis.

We come from all walks of life - our ranks are comprised of people with a diversity of skills, all connected in our commitment to ensure every public school student of Monterey County  has a home in our community.

Sandra Leader
Sandra Leader

Sandra is the executive director of the Franklin Legacy Fund, which focuses its efforts on child and youth homelessness. She is a writer and editor with over 30 years of experience in journalism. including at the San Francisco Chronicle and The Herald.

Robin Venuti

After a successful 43-year career matching philanthropic intent with needs of the nonprofit sector, Robin is now a realtor with Over the Moon Realty Inc. matching families with homes.

Dianne Driessen

In her career as an Information Technology specialist, Dianne workedfor IBM, Xerox, and McGraw-Hill Education as well as educational institutions and government agencies. She was a founding board member of the Program Management Institute, Monterey Bay chapter.

Marty Fleetwood
Marty Fleetwood

Marty "Martha" Fleetwood is the Founder of Homebase/The Center for Common Concerns, a law and social policy organization dedicated to eradicating homelessness.  

Laurie Kleinman M.D

Laurie spent her medical career specializing in Physical Medicine andRehabilitation and  Medical Acupuncture. As a team member of Acupuncturists Without Borders, Laurie has worked internationally and nationally providing stress reduction acupuncture to refugees andthose affected by natural disasters. Laurie has also provided free acupuncture treatments to homeless adults in Monterey County

Karen Osborne
Karen Osborne

During her career in health care administration and psychology, Karen served on many boards in the Bay Area, including the Salvation Army Board and its family shelter, Senior Action Network, and several other organizations.


80%  have been homeless for 5 + years.

Contrary to common perception, 80 percent of the homeless are people who have lived in our county for five years or more. Many have jobs, but still cannot afford the cost of rentals in our county where the housing is expensive.  Much of our homelessness is attributable to the low wages in our main industries of hospitality and agriculture, combined with a costly and insufficient housing supply.