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Read our December 2019 Nesletter

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

As 2019 winds down, all of us at Sanctuary Palm Springs are looking back on the year as a time of great growth for our agency and for our efforts to help our young residents transition from foster care to a happy and productive adulthood.


We have recently unveiled our new logo with a new tag line that describes exactly who we are: a transitional home for LGBTQ+ foster youth. Much thanks to Tim O’Bayley, Sanctuary’s board vice-chair and owner of O’Bayley Communications, who led our new logo’s design efforts. And as I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, our website now houses hundreds of resources for foster youth, their social workers and caregivers. We’ve posted new videos about Sanctuary on the website where viewers can hear directly from some of our residents and staff and take a peak into the beautiful home we provide for them. As a result of these resources and videos, youth are now able to learn more about our program and apply to be a Sanctuary resident directly from the website. You may remember from our last newsletter that one of our residents came to us after his foster mother, who had made no plan for his smooth transition to another program as his 18th birthday approached, simply had him leave her home to fend for himself on the streets before he found his way to Sanctuary. Conversely, now that our website has become a source of information for and about LGBTQ foster youth, our newest resident, whose foster mother IS making a plan for her smooth transition to Non-Minor Dependent status, will move in with us on her 18th birthday next month. No child should ever spend one day on the streets so we are doing all we can to spread the word about our services so that LGBTQ youth who need us can find us.


Our residents are staying with us longer, which helps them to become a part of our Palm Springs community and helps us to better prepare them for independence. They are all enrolled in classes and/or are employed. Our board of directors, led by our wise and wonderful chair, Barry McCabe, provides a strong foundation for the organization with members serving on a variety of committees that support our efforts. Our staff provides excellent care and support to our residents.

A list of Board members and staff, along with their photos and bios, can be found on our under the "ABOUT" tab on our website.

All of this contributed to Sanctuary receiving a clean bill of health after our end-of- the-year site visit from our licensing entity, California Community Care Licensing! Sanctuary’s efforts extend well beyond the residents who live in our home. Over the course of the last year, I have provided LGBTQ training to more than 300 social workers and probation officers in several counties throughout the state. These trainings help to increase the capacity of social workers and probation officers to deal more equitably and competently with the LGBTQ youth on their caseloads. They have contributed to the increase we’ve seen in referrals to our program. And best of all, they cost Sanctuary nothing as all costs are covered by the county receiving the training. I often remind our supporters that the financial support we receive from the state in order to care for our residents amounts to approximately 40% of our true costs of running this agency—and we pride ourselves on keeping our costs and expenses very low. We are tasked with raising the remainder of our funding from our incredibly generous local community. Because so much of our funding comes from local donors and foundations we want to be as transparent as possible when it comes to our finances. Toward this end, all of Sanctuary’s tax returns and our audit report can also be viewed on our website here. We have increased the number and amounts of foundation grants we receive. And our donor- and event-based fundraising efforts, led by the invaluable Ellen Wolf, have increased as well. A full list of the foundations, event sponsors, and local business that support us, as well as all of the events we held or that were held on our behalf this year can be found under the "OUR DONORS" tab on our website. I can’t I can't sufficiently express my gratitude to every local business and every member of our Palm Springs community who continue to help us help our residents set out on their lives as young adults comforted in the knowledge that so many in our Palm Springs village are making an investment in their futures. I look forward to keeping you informed about our plans to expand our programming to a second house in 2020, as well as our new host home program, the goal of which is to ensure that every Sanctuary resident has an opportunity to develop life-long relationships with local families. I am joined by Sanctuary’s board of directors, staff, and especially our residents when I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

In gratitude,

Rob Woronoff, MS Executive Director, Sanctuary Palm Springs


This year’s Holiday Spectacular, which was held for the third consecutive year at Spencer’s Restaurant, included a knock-out performance by Broadways’ David Burnham with gay comedian/actor/adoptive dad Alec Mapa as MC. Sanctuary board member Bob Iles headed up our planning team for the event with support from our wonderfully dedicated staff and volunteers. The auction portion of the event was coordinated by the fabulous Matthew Stocker and Tom Oliver. This year’s Holiday Spectacular also received more individual and corporate sponsorship than ever before, all of which contributed to making it Sanctuary’s most successful event to date by far!


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