Tulare County Probation Department donates stockings full of basic necessities to 151 individuals experiencing homelessness throughout the county
TULARE COUNTY – As those experiencing homelessness struggle to stay warm during the winter months, the Tulare County Probation Department delivered basic necessities to those in need.
Officers with Tulare County Probation delivered 151 stockings to those experiencing homelessness in the county. This was the department’s fifth annual Stockings for the Homeless event where officers fill stockings with everyday necessities and give them to those in need.
Several probation officers work with those experiencing homelessness in the county on a daily basis. And according to interim chief probation officer, LeAnne Williams, the officers assist them with employment, treatment and other resources, so being able to give back is something they enjoy.
“Our staff see first-hand the many needs and difficulties our clients face, so to give back to our community through holiday stockings is incredibly rewarding,” Williams said. “We hope events like these can bridge a positive relationship between law enforcement and those experiencing homelessness.”
Each stocking was filled with items including hats, socks, gloves, non-perishable foods, toiletries, hygiene products and more. They also had select stockings with items for women, pets and children. Probation staff hand delivered the stockings to five different areas including: Visalia; Tulare; Porterville; the Dinuba and Cutler/Orosi area; and the Strathmore, Lindsay, Woodville area. These visits from the areas’ probation staff included traveling to homeless encampments and parks, to find those in need of a bit of relief during the holiday season.
Probation officer Nereida Verduzco said handing out stockings each year is a fulfilling experience for her. Many of the clients on her caseload are homeless, and this event allows her to deliver stockings to some of the clients she supervises.
“As a probation officer, working with our unhoused population has been both a valuable and rewarding experience,” Verduzco said. “Being able to bring them a small amount of joy when providing them with a stocking is extremely gratifying.”
According to the Tulare County Probation Office, every year this event continues to be a success. It is a great way for probation staff to come together in support of the local community. The winter season is already difficult for those experiencing homelessness, so the probation office does their best to offer them a small amount of relief during the holiday season.
“I have the opportunity to interact with this vulnerable population and I enjoy getting to know the members of our community,” Verduzco said.