GSAC was founded in 2010 as a 501(C)(3) corporation to find solutions for homelessness in Tuolumne County. The organization's founder, Hazel Mitchell, began going directly into the camps to learn the needs of the homeless to assess their needs to find solutions.
Our organization's name came from the homeless seven years ago when Hazel asked what we should call our organization and one homeless man passionately cried out: "Just Give Someone a Chance!"
With that passion of heart Hazel and Dick Mitchell focused on establishing housing for the homeless. After 6 years the organization realized that finding an acceptable location for housing was a daunting task.
There had to be another way! One simple idea began to germinate: Find a feasible starting place to help individuals and families get back on their feet. The result is the innovation of a Mobile Shower Bus with Outreach Services that goes to where the homeless are.
Our Mission: To bring dignity to individuals in need, and improve the lives of the homeless and marginalized through mobile showers, transportation, and sustainable solutions by means of outreach case management services. Our core offerings expand access to government and private programs through fact finding and referrals that positively impact the lives of the homeless and, as a consequence, all residents of Tuolumne County.
Homelessness is controversial. It is often assumed to be an urban phenomena because homeless people seem more visible on city streets. However, people experience the same difficulties associated with homelessness and housing distress in America's small towns and rural counties just as in metropolitan areas. Tuolumne County is no exception. As a disadvantaged county, the proportion of homelessness may be higher than in other California counties representing 1.3 percent of homeless to the total population. In addition, 35% to 51% of the homeless population suffer from some form of mental illness and addiction, yet the majority of this population remain untreated.
Give Someone a Chance offers three key solutions to resolving homelessness:.
1. We know that the most fundamental barrier for the homeless to find employment is showers and clean clothing. Currently there are only three shower facilities for homeless use in all of Tuolumne County. A mobile shower bus goes to where the homeless are provding hygiene and clean underwear, socks and a Field Kit with toilet essentials at each visit.
2. The majority of social and medical services are difficult for the homeless to travel to and therefore impractical for homeless to participate in. The bus attracts a large population of homeless with mobility of showers and allows homeless to engage in case management to identify needs and refer them to the appropriate agency for assistance.
3. Meeting people where they are and offering a most basic hygienic need we build relationships that breaks down distrust and serves as an incentive for homeless individuals to begin to confide in use with their needs. Our goal is to obtain long-term stability through referrals. The shower bus serves as a beacon to attract a large segment of the homeless population and connect with our outreach services. In Case Management our goals are to identify individual needs in order to help place them to appropriate County, State, and Federal programs.
Rural homelessness in Tuolumne County is spread out in a vast area making it difficult to reach a significant number of the homeless populations. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs, for example, reaches only about 25% of veterans.
25 yrs. and Older 465 65%
18 yrs. to 24 yrs. 45 6%
Younger than 18 Yrs. 177 25%
From Tuolumne Co 375 53%
Outside the County 231 32%
Unsure 105 15%
Men 331 47%
Women 274 39%
Transgender 1 0.1%
Reasons for Homelessness:
Affordable Housing 120 16.9%
Domestic Violence 6 0.8%
Some Domestic Violence 128 18.0%
Actively fleeing abusive partner 45 6.3%
Hazel M. Mitchell, CEO
B.S. Hurley School of Nursing, R.N. Post Graduate classes.
25 years of progressively responsible positions including Nursing Director of Intensive care, Coronary care, Emergency room services, Shock-Trauma units, and Burn units. Business owner and Commercial Real Estate owner in Sonora, Ca.
Co-founder of Give Someone a Chance Inc., (GSAC) and served on the Board of Directors since inception in 2010 as Chair of the Board, Marketing, and C.E.O.
Richard G. Mitchell, Board Chairperson.
B.S. San Jose State University, Aeronautical Engineer.
30 years of Manufacturing Engineering/ Management experience in both, prototype and production projects. Extensive experience in Project Planning, writing business plans, Cost and Schedule control and Life Cycle Control. Business owner and Commercial Real Estate owner in Sonora, Ca.
Co-founder of Give Some a Chance Inc. (GSAC), 7 years and served as a Director for 5 years and current Chair of the Board, and Co-design Manager of the Shower Bus.
Donald Ronalter, Secretary
New Hampshire College MBA candidate, New Hampshire College BS Management Information Systems (MIS), Project Management Institute (PMI) Certified Project Management Professional (PMP #03286 Inactive), University of California, Certificate of Project and Program Management.
Principal worldwide consultant with Hewlett Packard specializing in Integrated Circuit (IC) manufacturing process control (PC). Senior project professional directing multi-million dollar global engagements covering design, development, acceptance, and deployment of networks, platforms, and applications to fulfill the defined requirements (Waterfall and Agile). Enterprise-wide Information Technology (IT) Cybersecurity program manager for Payment Card Industry (PCI DSS) and International Standards Organization (ISO 27K) with Governance Risk and Compliance (GR&C) at Visa, PayPal, eBay, Symantec, Adobe, and others.
Sergeant US Army Viet Nam Veteran; Bronze Star Metal.
Member of GSAC for 1 year; Head of project management and design team in Shower Bus, secretary of board, develop all outside and internal communications.
Larry Burnell, MD,
MD Loma Linda Medical School 1973; Internship in OBGYN at UC Davis. Numerous Post Graduate Medical Certifications.
OBGYN in Tuolumne County 23 years. Medical Director Foothill Pregnancy Center 15 years; wound care center 4 years. MD Mission work on numerous occasions in Puerto Rice and Africa.
Many years teaching in Bible Study, Church classes, Stress Management. Tuolumne Breakfast Volunteer 15 years. Recent GSAC Board Volunteer.
Contact any of the staff named above for more information
We need volunteers to go out on the shower bus runs and to help with internal work such as marketing events,Italian Nights dinner and to serve on committees