SoCalGas & Sempra Energy Foundation Donate $50,000 and Commercial Kitchen Equipment to Covenant House California Shelter for Homeless Youth
The $50K and commercial cooking equipment donation will help supplement the cost of food and other services for homeless youth
May 7, 2020
LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Covenant House California (CHC) today announced that SoCalGas and the Sempra Energy Foundation together have donated $50,000 to Covenant House California, a non-profit shelter that provides sanctuary and support for homeless and trafficked youth, ages 18-24. The $50,000 donation includes, $25,000 from SoCalGas and $25,000 from the Sempra Energy Foundation. In addition, SoCalGas, is donating commercial cooking equipment for the shelter's kitchen. Please see here for photos and video from today's delivery of the kitchen equipment to Covenant House.
"SoCalGas is proud to support our friends at Covenant House of California with this donation," said Mia DeMontigny, Vice President Controller and Chief Financial Officer at SoCalGas and Covenant House California board member. "Covenant House works tirelessly to provide critical and life-changing services to youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles and we are proud to be able to support their efforts."
"SoCalGas is showing what an amazing partner they are, during the greatest time of need for young people experiencing homelessness. This gift helps us to be able to meet the needs of more youth than ever who do not have a safe place to sleep right now, as the result of the pandemic. We are so incredibly grateful to SoCalGas for stepping up in such a significant way for the most vulnerable people in our community," said Bill Bedrossian, CEO Covenant House of California.
CHC provides not only housing services including transitional living programs but also support services such as street outreach, medical and mental health services, and career and education programs. Covenant House California has over 100 youth currently living at its Los Angeles campus and served over 240,000 meals to youth throughout California last year.
The donations from both SoCalGas and the Sempra Energy Foundation will supplement the cost of food for the shelter's Los Angeles location as well as support other services the non-profit provides.
Last month, SoCalGas announced a $1 million donation to nonprofit organizations throughout its service area to support the region's workforce, feed the hungry, and provide bill assistance to customers most affected by COVID-19.
Together, the Sempra Energy family of companies – including SoCalGas' sister California utility San Diego Gas and Electric and the Sempra Energy Foundation – are stepping up with more than $8 million to those in need during this crisis.
SoCalGas has suspended service disconnections for its core customers until further notice. This means no residential or small business customer will have their natural gas turned off due to non-payment. SoCalGas has also temporarily waived late fees for small business customers. Late fees are never charged for residential customers.
Natural gas continues to flow and is being delivered to SoCalGas' 22 million customers across southern and central California, just as it does on a "typical" day. There is no shortage of supply of natural gas for homes or businesses or to power plants that generate electricity.
For more information about SoCalGas' response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus.
Covenant House California COVID-19 Response
Covenant House California is ACTIVELY serving nearly 5,000 youth a year who are experiencing homelessness across the state in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Berkeley. Simultaneously, each night in California, there are over 10,000 youth experiencing homelessness who don't have a safe place to sleep. Their need for shelter, sustenance, medical attention, sanctuary, and support has not quelled in the midst of social distancing and the shuttering of non-essential businesses; IT HAS DRASTICALLY INCREASED.
The work of providing care to an already traumatized population of youth centers upon human connection, contact, and engagement. To that end, our shelters are sheltering, our street outreach programs are outreaching, and our counselors are counseling; we make a commitment to every youth we serve that, when they are with us or working with us, they will receive absolute respect and unconditional love, and we will not relent in that covenant.
We work with a highly traumatized population. As a result, their response to this crisis – and our society's collective anxiety – requires a targeted, trauma-informed approach from a mental health standpoint. Our counselors are working double-time to ensure that youth who are scared are enveloped with love and support and reinforcing their inherent strengths that fuel healthy coping mechanisms – mechanisms that will prevent returns to homelessness.
Our Rapid Rehousing programs are structured to provide support to youth who have worked unbelievably hard to maintain a job and their first apartment lease. Many of those youth are now faced with the elimination of their employment (i.e., those working in the service industries). We are not willing to stand by and watch youth lose everything as a result of their work stoppage or shortage, and as a result, we are paying their rent – or whatever portion of their rent that they cannot afford.
In fact, a significant majority of our youth lost their employment just one week into the pandemic. This has created the need for additional food and staffing costs on our campuses as well as the need to have increased programming on our sites to ensure that youth are being constructive and staying healthy during this time where employment prospects are very low for them.
We will not stop doing this work. We have made that commitment to the youth we serve and, frankly, to the communities we serve. Every unrestricted dollar that can be mustered makes the fulfillment of that commitment less strenuous. In a time when everything is constantly changing, this funding allows us to rapidly target emergencies as they arise.
About Covenant House California
Covenant House California (CHC) is a non-profit youth shelter with locations in Hollywood, Oakland and Berkeley that provides sanctuary and support for homeless and trafficked youth, ages 18-24. CHC believes that no young person deserves to be homeless; that every young person in California deserves shelter, food, clothing, education and most importantly, to be loved. Now serving over 5,000 youth a year, CHC has served over 200,000 homeless youth since we've opened our doors. CHC provides a full continuum of services to meet the physical, emotional, educational, vocational, and spiritual well-being of young people, in order to provide them with the best chance for success in independence.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company
For further information: Patrice Clayton, SoCalGas Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 244-2442, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Mike Stommel, Covenant House of California Media Contact, Lucky Break PR, (323) 602-0091, email@example.com