An Open Letter to Our Community   By Brandon Wirth, CEO

An Open Letter to Our Community

By Brandon Wirth, CEO

 

Your monthly DONATION makes a difference.

           Recent news reports described the crucial temporary funding Mission Solano received to keep open the doors of our shelter on Beck Avenue in Fairfield. The community in general and our loyal supporters expressly deserve an explanation of the current status and future of our organization.

           Key members of the Solano Coalition for Better Health – most notably Partnership Health Plan, NorthBay Healthcare, Sutter Health and Kaiser Permanente – agreed to provide emergency bridge funding to ensure the respite and emergency shelter for the homeless remains open.

           Our health care systems, the City of Fairfield and the County of Solano agree that there must be an operational shelter, otherwise a community emergency would ensue. Bridge funding does not solve Mission Solano’s long-term financial predicament. For now, the focus is the shelter, exclusively, and the homeless who are being helped today.

           Mission Solano today is not the Mission Solano of yesteryear. The former executive director has left more than a year ago. Our chief operations officer and I arrived to institute change. Agreement was reached with city, county and health system leaders to drive permanent change – in governance, in financial accountability and in improving the service we provide people who seek a path to a new start.

 

Community support is more critical than ever. Your monthly DONATION makes a difference. Our commitment to compassionately help our homeless neighbors find a way off the streets is as strong as ever.

 

           We have streamlined our process with local law enforcement officers whose homeless intervention efforts are being stepped up. This has been successful with police in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo, as well as the Solano Sheriff’s Department. Our work with local hospitals means we can care for those discharged from hospitals who otherwise would fill already congested ERs.

           Seamless transition from local hospitals to respite care, providing a place where our homeless neighbors can heal in a safe and clean environment after leaving the hospital, is working. We have reduced emergency room re-visits. We also serve as a re-entry shelter for those leaving incarceration, helping to find them permanent housing and work.

           Several factors contributed to the structural financial woes of Mission Solano. Long-term liabilities created from past borrowing and property acquisitions have been trimmed by 10 percent, but it is clear that we cannot totally remove the immense burden of inherited debt from the past administration. That is why we are contemplating whether to seek financial protection from the courts as we reorganize.

           We are leaner than ever before. We have slashed overall operational expenses by 26.5 percent, reduced 40 percent of our workforce without affecting the programs and restructured our operations to adhere to sound business practices.

            We know the prior administration lost the trust of many supporters and donors, but we are working to rebuild trust and confidence. We are focused on being a shelter that is part of the county, city and community strategy to address homelessness.

           With new leadership, a sound budget and a governance overhaul, we can keep the shelter open and more homeless off the streets. I promise a transparent financial path to the future.

           We strive to create a strong, honest and accountable partnership with you as we continue to extend a life line to the most vulnerable in our community.

 

Thank you.