530.345.2640 2255 Fair Street
Chico, CA 95928

Annual Events

2022 Spring Luncheon — Saturday, March 19th

11am–3pm at The Barn at Pheasant Trail Ranch (4475 Nord Hwy, Chico)

Join us for this year’s Spring Luncheon fundraiser and hear true stories from formerly homeless women and men. Doors open at 10:30am. Tickets are $45/person or $450/table (10 seats). All proceeds will benefit the Jesus Center.

Past Events

Spring Luncheon—April 2019

In the wake of the Camp Fire, we were privileged to honor Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea, and Help Central/Butte 2-1-1 Director, Tara Sullivan-Hames for their extraordinary leadership and work during and in the aftermath of the fire.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited the housing programs of the Jesus Center.

Spring Luncheon—April 2018

We were fortunate enough to welcome Wm. Paul Young, the author of the world-wide bestsellers, The Shack and Cross Roads, as our guest speaker. With nearly 20 million copies sold and 49 consecutive weeks at # 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, The Shack has inspired conversations about God around the world.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited the housing programs of the Jesus Center.

Spring Luncheon—May 2017

We were thrilled to welcome New York Times best-selling author and critically acclaimed author of six novels, including her most recent, The Nearness of You, Amanda Eyre Ward.

Ward writes about the delicate modern issue of mental illness and surrogacy.  In the book, a successful heart surgeon has removed all desire to have a family because of her own memories of her own mothers’ struggle with mental illness strikes fear in her. But when her husband convinces her that they can experience a family through the use of a surrogate, they end up on a road to a place they never saw coming.

Proceeds from the event were used to support the housing programs of the Jesus Center; Sabbath House, our emergency shelter for women and children, House of Hope, our women’s transitional home, Sage House, offering housing for senior women experiencing homelessness, Birch House, our men’s transitional home, and Myrtle House, our transitional home for single women with children.

Spring Luncheon—May 2016

We were so privileged to welcome New York Times Best-Selling Author & Chico Native Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Returning to her hometown of Chico, we have the New York Times Best-Selling Author of the Language of Flowers. Written in over 43 languages, and sold worldwide!

Vanessa Diffenbaugh opened her home to foster children in 2005, which gave her the opportunity to become intimately familiar with not only the ‘system’ but also the children that found themselves dependent upon it. Vanessa is said to have two passions: writing and children in need of a home. She wove both of these passions into her writing of the New York Times Best-Selling novel, the Language of Flowers. While the main character, Victoria is entirely fictional, Vanessa drew inspiration in bits and pieces from other foster children that she has known. She recalls a young woman in particular, that her and her husband mentored many years ago who was fiery and focused & distrusting and unpredictable in a manner similar to Victoria. This young woman had a number on her birth certificate where a name should have been placed, and had been in more foster homes than she could count. But still, she was resilient, beautiful, smart, and funny.  While she was loved completely, she struggled, and would sabotage it over and over again. In the book, Victoria has a similar dysfunction, but the link is obvious; the struggle of loving when you feel unlovable. The struggle of feeling valued when you feel worthless.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited the housing programs of the Jesus Center.

Jesus Center - Spring Luncheon 2016
Jesus Center - Spring Luncheon 2016
Jesus Center - Spring Luncheon 2016

Underexposed—December 2015

The goal of Underexposed is to make the homeless as visually appealing as possible in a society that is visually demanding. When it comes to social activism, you achieve greater public awareness by communicating hope as opposed hopelessness.

“If I’m able to affect the way that one person views the homeless, I will have considered my series a success. And that gives me hope.”

— Aaron Draper

Using lighting as a way to interest the viewer in the subjects is shown in Underexposed. Light is used for both a physical and a metaphorical reason. When something is underexposed, it means it’s lacking light; there are few details in the shadows. Bringing in light reduces the shadows for others to view and appreciate.

Steinbeck influenced Draper and informed him of his view of the world. In Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, he was introduced to a philosophy regarding society, about economic disparity, and Steinbeck’s efforts to shed light on the problems of the poor in our society. Steinbeck hoped to bring about societal change, just as Draper hopes to enable people to gain a more humane view of the homeless.

Steinbeck was, and still is, a voice for people that have no voice. He crafted narratives that have endured the passage of time and have influenced generations of readers.

Proceeds from the exhibit benefited the housing programs of the Jesus Center.