April Shared Plate Recipient – Community Human Services

Community Human Services (CHS) is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing high-quality mental health, substance abuse, and homeless services to Monterey County residents to help them reach their full potential. Their vision is of a community free of substance abuse, mental health challenges, and housing instability. CHS has fifteen programs at 13 sites and 17 schools throughout Monterey County.

Building on the success of Casa De Noche Buena, CHS’ shelter for women and families in Seaside, when Shuman HeartHouse opens this summer, it will accommodate up to 35 individuals – providing much-needed temporary housing, meals, and a variety of supportive services. The emphasis is on providing shelter to homeless women and families with children and wraparound services to help them transition to long-term, sustainable housing.

The project has been in the works since the spring of 2021 when local businessman and philanthropist, Mark Shuman, donated $3M to CHS to purchase the building at 600 E. Franklin St. in Monterey for a homeless shelter for single women and families with children. “Everybody has a right to a safe place to sleep and a comfortable place to wake up in the morning,” Shuman says. “I know CHS has the experience and know-how to help make this happen. Their proven track record of managing finances and successfully operating various types of facilities is evident to me.”

Groundbreaking occurred on December 14th, and construction began on January 16th to add a kitchen, dining room, sleeping quarters, bathrooms, laundry facilities, a computer lab, TV lounge and playroom, and case management offices. The property is noted as a Historical Building for the City of Monterey, so care is being taken throughout the renovation process to preserve its legacy.

With the Shuman family, so many of our community’s generous donors, and Senator Laird’s help in allocating $2.5M from the state surplus for the project, CHS has raised over $6.7 million. There is a little over a million left to raise to meet their $7.8 million goal.

The funds needed to help CHS reach their goal will go toward finishing the construction of the building and helping to operate the shelter once it’s open. This means your gift will soon change the lives of homeless women and families in our community!

Thank you for your generosity.
Konny Murray
Shuman HeartHouse Nominator