Helping women obtain head of household jobs to provide for their families

On May 26, Anna’s Home celebrated their women who completed the “Introduction to Solar Training” and installed solar panels at Anna’s Home with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Anna’s Home is a Restorative Partners sober living home for women and their children in Paso Robles.

Haili, a current resident of Anna’s Home and student in the project, says, “Anna’s Home is a great place of reunification where we mothers can support each other while raising our children. The Solar Training and Installation Project is giving us an opportunity for new learning and experiences that will benefit us greatly in all our future employment endeavors.”

The project is in partnership with Restorative Partners, GRID Alternatives, County of San Luis Obispo, and Eckerd Connects Workforce Development. The project aims to introduce low-income women with children to an industry that can provide head of household jobs and reduce Anna’s Home’s energy costs.

During the ceremony, Restorative Partners were presented with a certificate on behalf of the Board of Supervisors to honor the project.

District Attorney Dan Dow, Supervisor Peschong, Supervisor Ortiz-Legg, and Paso Robles Councilmember John Hammon were present during the ceremony.

“We have a drug and alcohol problem in our community, and we fight it every day. The city fights it with our homeless population. This is something that is, to me, so beneficial for our community. A home where women can go and they can get clean and sober, and you heard today they can get jobs and find careers. This makes a difference in people’s lives,” said District One Supervisor John Peschong.

The project is funded by the County of San Luis Obispo Community Development and Block Grant Program. 

American Riviera Bank presented Anna’s Home with a $1,000 check.

Anna’s Home is one of five sober living houses operated by Restorative Partners. The home provides women and their children a safe and sober living environment while developing life skills and building connections in the community. GRID Alternatives leads teams of volunteers and job trainees in installing solar electric systems for low-income families. 

Wendi Meloon, a current resident at Anna’s Home, said she could see herself going into the solar industry.

“It’s definitely something I want to get into. I like that hands-on work and the labor of it, and also the Grid people were so helpful with training us–I’m so proud of the three girls that did it–a couple of women were afraid to do it at first, but then they got through their fears because ‘it’s men’s work,’ but it’s not. Women can be in the solar industry just like men,” said Meloon.

Restorative Partners’ mission is to transform lives impacted by crime through healing services and relationships. It does so through facilitating programs in juvenile hall, through their five sober living homes, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services, and other community programs and services. 

You can learn more about Restorative Partners here.

Grid Alternatives works to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive solar industry by providing pathways to technical careers for women, highlighting the voices of women of color in the industry, and providing national leadership on solar workforce diversity. 

Karina Gonzalez, Grid Alternatives Workforce Development Director, said, “The solar industry is growing throughout the state, nation, and the world and for people that are interested in it I’d encourage them to find a program, get enrolled, and they’ll find a job pretty quickly.”

Gonzalez continued, “Our facility is located in Fresno, so if they wanted to complete their training with us, they could qualify for a job opportunity. However, there are plenty of solar companies here that with their willingness, their desire, and the fact that they have experienced a little of the installation, they can find an internship opportunity or even an entry-level job.”

You can learn more about Grid Alternatives here.

Right now, you can support Restorative Partners and local businesses by participating in the SLO Grilled Cheese Festival that started May 1 and ends Jun. 30.

There are 39 SLO County restaurants participating in the festival. 

Each week Restorative Partners will draw raffle winners from those who share #SLOGrilledCheeseFest photos online and those who vote for their top three grilled cheeses!

You can vote for your favorite grilled cheese for the following categories: 

  • Best SLO Grilled Cheese​
  • Most Ooegy Gooey Cheesy
  • Best Twisted Grilled Cheese

A message from Restorative Partners on the festival: 

“While the focus of the 3rd annual SLO Grilled Cheese Festival is to support local restaurants, this event is also in support of Restorative Partners. It is one of three major fundraisers we host annually to fund our operations. These fundraisers allow us to continue serving the vulnerable population we joyfully serve and the greater San Luis Obispo County community.

We are in need of raising $80,000 to continue operations. We would be honored if you partnered with us to support our work!!”

You can participate by visiting these North County restaurants:

PASO ROBLES

  • The Vreamery Vegan Cheese Shop & Melt Bar – 1815 Spring St
  • Joe’s Place – 305 Spring St
  • Red Scooter Deli – 1102 Pine St
  • Vic’s Café – 841 13th Street

ATASCADERO 

  • Dan’s Grub Shack – 4240 El Camino Real, Atascadero 
  • Halfway Station – 15050 Morro Rd, Atascadero 
  • Sylvester’s Burgers – 6455 El Camino Real, Atascadero 
  • Street Side Ale House – 6155 El Camino Real, Atascadero 

You can find a complete list of participating restaurants and offerings here.