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El Camino Homeless Organization chosen as a 2021 Nonprofit of the Year

 

NONPROFIT HONORED BY SENATOR JOHN LAIRD

 

Atascadero, CA (June 19, 2021) – El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year by Senator John Laird representing District 17 of the California State Senate. District 17 contains Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties in their entirety, as well as portions of Monterey and Santa Clara Counties.

ECHO is one of more than one hundred nonprofits that will be honored by their state senators and assemblymembers for their tremendous contributions to the communities they serve.

ECHO’s mission since 2001 is to empower people in SLO County to make positive change by providing food, shelter, and supportive services.  Currently, ECHO operates three facilities in North County that each provide meals and a safe and secure overnight shelter to meet the immediate needs of families and individuals in our community who are facing hunger and homelessness.  Residents are provided individual case management services to assist them in securing a job and finding permanent and sustainable housing.  While staying at ECHO, residents are taught life skills for employment, financial literacy, health care management and parenting.

“We are deeply humbled to be recognized by Senator John Laird as a 2021 Nonprofit of the Year,” comments Wendy Lewis, President/CEO of ECHO.  “The services provided by ECHO are essential to helping our community members facing homelessness find permanent housing, it’s such an honor to be recognized on what is our 20th anniversary. We thank Senator Laird as well as all of our community supporters who have made us the organization that we are today.”

 “The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the past year and a half have put nonprofits  – usually hidden in plain sight – in the spotlight,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofit of the Year is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”

Additional Background

California Nonprofits Day, now in its sixth year, was formally recognized by 2021 Assembly Concurrent Resolution 80, authored by Assemblymember Luz Rivas, and co-authored by Senator Monique Limón. Each year legislators from across California have chosen a Nonprofit of the Year in their district.

 

Traditionally, honorees and legislators are invited by CalNonprofits, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Senator Monique Limón (Santa Barbara), and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblymember Luz Rivas to a celebratory luncheon on California Nonprofits Day. This year, like 2020, the luncheon was canceled in response to pandemic restrictions, but legislators moved forward with honoring nonprofits doing great work in their districts.

 

According to “Causes Count,” a 2019 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in the state, employing more than 1.2 million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate more than $273 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 330,000 full-time jobs every year.