Wednesday, December 1, 2010

People of Progress in Redding...part of the United Way

People of Progress…addressing community needs and part of the United WayEdit
By ronlargent Leave a Comment
Categories: Uncategorized
We are so fortunate to have so many good programs addressing the basic needs of food and housing in Redding, Shasta County, and Northern California. One of these organizations is People of Progress, under the able direction of Melinda Brown. Here is some background on this agency….one of 33 in the United Way of Northern California.

Mission Statement

To strengthen individuals, families and our community with special emphasis on issues that affect low income people.

People of Progress began in 1974 as a food co-op. The first social service program we offered was child care soon followed by a small grant for an education program to increase understanding of and usage of food stamps in three northern counties. One early program was a community farm in French Gulch which led to our two community gardens now in Redding. Our programs have evolved and expanded as we are now one of the major foodbanks and emergency assistance programs in our area. In addition to our own programs, P.O.P. has always been very active in a variety of community issues and opportunities always advocating for healthy thriving inclusive communities for everyone — not just those with comfortable incomes. We have formed collaboratives and committees that specifically and successfully addressed a number of issues resulting in successful programs or program modifications in local government and in other agencies.

OUR GOAL is to serve our community by helping to build individual and community stability and responsibility. Annually, we help over 10% of the entire population of Redding alone who need immediate emergency assistance.

For 30 years we have been devoted to providing food, clothing, shelter, transportation, prescriptions, etc. to people in need. We will serve over 14,000 people this year with over 170,000 meals, 4,000 motel shelter nights, and help over 150 households retain/obtain housing or keep their utilities on. We work closely with other organizations and agencies to link clients with additional programs and services.

We generate much of our funding from our two Thrift Stores. Two state and two federal grants provide funds to purchase food, motel vouchers and rent assistance. A Shasta County CSBG grant and a City of Redding CDBG grant provide partial operation funding for this program. We pick up food donations daily from Food 4 Less. Generous donations from individuals, businesses and churches help support our program and we’re a United Way member agency.

For additional information, you can visit their website at

You can learn more about the United Way at or or call us at 530-241-7521, or e-mail me at

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