January 2016 – Monthly Update

JAN 2016-Appeal LetterFINAL-2“State of the Jesus Center” A report on what we’re doing and where we’re going... Happy NewYear!


The Jesus Center has been a core social service provider for over 30 years focused on relieving the struggles of the poor, homeless, and mentally disabled population in Chico. Today’s priorities derive from the original vision, Jesus’ example, and the wisdom and needs of today’s leadership. My particular vision builds on the work of past leaders, staff and supporters while focusing on carefully defining the challenges, choosing the solutions strategically, and inviting partners to work together for the most comprehensive interventions to truly help this complex population thrive over time.


Our programs are a wonderful mix of compassion and accountability. There are several entry level programs that simply restore dignity to our guests and give them a chance to make the first step towards positive change in their lives. The Resource Center and the Sabbath House represent our second level programs where folks get serious about moving forward in their lives. Finally, our transition house and job readiness programs give guests the chance to change the trajectory of their futures as they learn skills that give them the opportunity to fully integrate into the community. We have historically and will continue to focus on women and children through Sabbath House and House of Hope.

  • Meal Program: 2x per day 6 days a week, Sunday breakfast
  • Basic services: mail, showers, medical preventative services, bible studies
  • Resource Center
  • Free Store
  • Garden project: growing vegetables, internships for guests, CSA program for the community
  • Sabbath House women and children’s shelter program
  • House of Hope: transition house for women moving towards independence


Meals at the Jesus Center have always been the first step in creating relationships with our guests, and provides us with a means to learn more about who they are and what their individual needs may be. The Jesus Center is on track to serve nearly 100,000 meals this year.

Sabbath House Women’s & Children’s Shelter served over 400 guests and provided over 1,500 nights of shelter.

Resource Center provides a means to use computers, telephones or check mail for over 200 people per month.

Free Store provides clothing and hygiene items to our guests through a $25 per month punch card. Two-thirds of the 8,000 visitors to the Free Store were men.


The focus for 2016 will be to streamline all aspects of the business of the Jesus Center to insure strong infrastructure to build upon. We will be reviewing all programs to make sure we are benefiting our guests taking a long-term view. We will likely increase our transition house program, job readiness program, and overall communication strategies. It is through our supporters that make the vision for 2016 a reality, and for that we are eternally grateful.

Please know that I encourage you to reach out to me if you have any questions about the vision of, or decisions made by the Jesus Center. And remember that my door is always open to you!

I am grateful to be part of a community that cares so much about people to help them get on their feet again, and provides them a place of support in the Jesus Center.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and thanking you for your continued support.

Laura Cootsona
Executive Director

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COIVD-19 Response

Learn about some of the adjustments we’ve made at the Jesus Center, in response to COVID-19, as we continue our work with the most vulnerable among us.