Kiwanis to the Rescue for New Entra Casa
New Entra Casa is a facility where female ex-offenders who want to turn their lives around can find a loving home, counseling, guidance, and encouragement. The residents are helped to learn life skills, find jobs or return to school. New Entra Casa truly is “A Safe Haven in a Restless Sea” and the success rate of the program is amazing. New Entra Casa associates and volunteers celebrated over 45 years of making a difference in the lives of so many.
Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis has been a supporter of New Entra Casa for many years, both financially and with physical labor, to help keep the 94-year-old house in North Park in good repair. Over the years our volunteers have been involved in many remodeling and rebuilding projects, painting, insulation, plumbing, landscaping, to name a few. Many club members were on hand recently to help paint the new building addition. It has been a lot of work, but all for a wonderful cause, just the kind of endeavor in which our service club likes to participate.
Written by John Peterson
Published in Mission Times Courier, March 2017
When a call came in from Kim Kelly at New Entra Casa that she needed help with some maintenance issues at the Pershing Street home for female ex-offenders, GAG Kiwanis answered the call once again. The most pressing problem was that a State of California inspector had cited the facility for some chipped paint in the kitchen and that the kitchen must be re-painted by March 1. Our Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Community Service committee volunteered to do the job.
GAG Kiwanis has been helping New Entra Casa for several years and we have had been involved in several major projects there. Last year we converted a “Tuff Shed” into an office installing insulation, dry wall, paint, carpeting and helping install electrical lighting and outlets. Two years ago we installed a new floor in the kitchen. About eight years ago under the guidance of long time Kiwanian Jim Mac Donald, we installed a new bathroom, a new roof, rebuilt the veranda and painted the house. As you can see we have a long history of support for New Entra Casa.
I sent out an email asking members for help and several members volunteered. I was particularly struck by the response from Tony Haas.
“Hello, John Pete! Yes, I am raising my hand and saying “I can help”, yes, I WILL help. Kiwanis is a service organization and this looks like a service project.”
Dave Erlanson was there from start to finish, all four days, Kevin Tostado was a big help, John Chandler even though he was recovering from surgery did what he could, Tony Haas was an all-star worker, Yuki Ochi was a sanding and spackling whiz, three of the ladies in the home, Melissa, Sarah and Alejandra were a great help -- and I was the cheerleader.
Kiwanis volunteers worked about ninety total hours painting, spackling, priming and finishing the walls and stripping, sanding, priming, re-installing and painting the cabinets. It was a lot of work but all for a wonderful cause. New Entra Casa has been rehabilitating women who have been in prison for forty five years and has a great record of success. The home was built in 1924 and as any home almost one hundred years old requires a lot of maintenance and tender, loving care. I am sure that we will be called upon for help again - and we will answer the call again.
Neighbors helping neighbors!
On June 10, 2017, New Entra Casa celebrated its 45th Anniversary with a gala luncheon to be held at San Diego First Methodist Church in Mission Valley. New Entra Casa associates and volunteers came together to celebrate 45 years of making a difference in the lives of so many.