When Dr. Tia Fechter and her husband, Michael first moved to Monterey County January 1, 2012, they began feeding and helping the homeless as private citizens. Simply because they saw the need.
In serving meals and bringing supplies to those in need, they soon discovered an almost invisible population of homeless people….homeless women living in their cars. These women generally went to great lengths to appear “not homeless” but lived in great stress and uncertainty as it was and is often illegal to sleep in your car at night.
Police, often reluctantly, had to tell these ladies to move on or be ticketed. If unable to pay the fines these women soon found their cars impounded and they suddenly had no shelter at night. Many of these women were recently homeless with no skills to survive on the street.
After attending many city council, mayoral and other meetings throughout Monterey County…Tia, a PhD in psychometrics, decided to finance the beginnings of One Starfish Safe Parking and Supportive Services from her own pocket.
Getting the program up and running soon led to support from several groups prominently, We Help Homeless Women (Sara Myers) and The Fund for Homeless Women (Pastor Michael Reid, Kathy Whilden, and Marian Penn) that also saw the pressing need to see more aide come to those forced to live in their last remaining major possession…their cars.
One Starfish continues to operate with the kindness of compassionate people. People that realize that one or two bad breaks can quickly escalate and put a person in peril. Thank you for supporting this work. In doing so, you support many.