While researching areas of active, meaningful involvement in their community, several members of the Bay Marin Community Church in Marin County, California, found that there were more than 1,200 homeless children living in their county! In addition, the majority of these children were living in single parent homes, under the care of a single mother. The year was 1997, and the number of homeless children and their moms has increased each year.
There were more than 1,200 homeless children living in Marin in 1997, and that number has increased each year.
After many months of research, planning and fund-raising, Gilead House became a reality. The name Gilead actually refers to a region in ancient Israel which was famous for its production of a healing ointment known as “The Balm of Gilead.” The area in Israel was also set aside as a place of refuge and healing. The name seemed to describe perfectly the home in Marin County that was being offered to the families in need. Rather than an institutional setting, a rented four-bedroom house in the hills of Novato was chosen to provide a home in a ‘normal’ neighborhood that was safe, clean and warm: the first step toward the positive self-image needed by the mothers and their children. This Gilead House home was the first real home environment that some of the kids would ever have!
The first three families moved into Gilead House in October of 1999. Since that time the Board, Executive Director, Program Coordinator, House Manager, Mentors and countless volunteers have worked tirelessly to fine-tune the program which enables the resident families to strive for stability, both economic, and personal. To date, Gilead House has served almost sixty women as well as their children and witnessed dramatic change in individual lives. The network of church, business, and individual partners has grown dynamically over the years and lends support through generous gifts of time, money, and talent.
The year 2009 was a milestone in the history of Gilead House as they embarked on the construction of a home in downtown Novato! Gilead House moved into the new facility in July, 2011 and has expanded services to accommodate up to six families at a time.
August 1999 – August 15, 2001
Rented home for 3 families – 610 Arlington Circle, Novato, CA
September 15, 2001- June 20, 2011
Rented home for 3 families – 23 Harding Drive, Novato, CA
June 24, 2011- Present
Built home for 6 families – 1024 7th Street, Novato, CA 94945
February 13, 2015- Present
Purchased 12 unit apartment facility:
1308/1310 Leafwood Drive, Novato, CA