MURRIETA, Calif. – Project T.O.U.C.H., SW Riverside County’s Homeless Prevention Organization, is pleased to announce they have been granted $25,000 by Pechanga Resort and Casino to support their Emergency Housing Units. Serving over 200 people daily through their shared housing program, Project T.O.U.C.H. – Together Our Unity Conquers Homelessness – receives hundreds of calls every week for help providing shelter, food, and resources during this crisis.
Before the organization could even deposit the check, they received word that a family was in crisis and needed funds to rent a hotel room until space was available in one of the organization’s 31 housing units. A portion of the Pechanga grant was able to be put to use just in time for this family of four to find shelter.
Fundraising is crucial for the nonprofit to offset costs in its 215-bed program. Having to postpone one of their largest events earlier this spring has taken its toll on their ability to expand in anticipation of the need.
According to Founder, Anne Unmacht, “This could not have come at a better time…with the current situation facing the entire country, we know the fallout is going to be great. We are already seeing the effects in our valley and expect it to only get worse. When Pechanga called to say they could not sponsor our Golf Tournament this year for $2500 because they wanted to donate $25,000…well, I almost fell off my chair!”
Even though Pechanga is facing tough times as well, they understand the importance of digging deep to help those devastated by the economy, illness, and the stress that is hitting hardest the most vulnerable in our community, Unmacht continues.
“Project T.O.U.C.H. has continued to deliver essential services for community members struggling with shelter, food, and resources during this crisis,” said Jared Munoa, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation. “So many donors have been impacted by the COVID pandemic, including us, but we’re able and proud to help this generous organization continue its critical mission.”
The organization has been providing shared housing for single moms, elderly men and women, Veterans and families since 2008. Prior to 2015, they had been renting several apartment units and homes throughout the valley to care for those in need. Obtaining hotel rooms in the winter months to operate an emergency winter shelter, caring for another 40 to 50 people during inclement weather from December through April.
This one-of-a-kind, self-sustaining program does not rely on government assistance to succeed. Its success comes from a unique partnership with the very clients they serve along with the incredible generosity of local businesses like Pechanga, and a team of Christian men and women leaders who have come alongside as partners to help care for the most vulnerable in the community.
With this great support and guidance, Project T.O.U.C.H. has been able to purchase 2 of their own fourplexes, 2 homes, and most recently, 3-acres in Wildomar as a multi-use facility with 2 homes on the property. One of the key tenants of the organization is that every able-bodied person in the program must work community hours within the organization. These hours can be donated to help with maintenance, lawn care, paint, cleaning, or use their skills in the office, but one of the favorite places to volunteer their time is at the organizations’ Divine Discount & Thrift Store which has quickly become Temecula’s Favorite Thrift Store.
According to Loraine White, Volunteer Manager of the store, “this valley community is incredible in its donations to the clients of Project T.O.U.C.H., we get the most beautiful items donated, and what can’t be used by those in the program is sold at our Thrift Store to help feed and provide for those in need.”
This multi-faceted organization is a testament to the persistence of its founder, Anne Unmacht. Her tireless efforts to provide a safe haven to the 1000’s of people who have come through the program is one of the reasons Pechanga Resort and Casino was honored to grant this nonprofit such a generous gift. Unmacht says, “These times have been so challenging for everyone, and it amazes me that Pechanga still continues to go above and beyond with their support for the most vulnerable in our community…We here at Project TOUCH will be forever grateful for their kindness and extreme generosity!”
For more information on the organization, to volunteer, or donate, please call the office at 951-677-9661. Information and resources are available on their website: ProjectTouchOnline.com and Facebook Page.