The New Day Story

With a national shift towards a housing first model vulnerable homeless individuals have become the first in line to move from homelessness into housing. The effects of homelessness don’t end with housing. As newly housed individuals struggle with drastic life changes, isolation, and continuing mental and physical health conditions they need a supportive community and positive activities to help them adjust to and thrive in their housing.

The New Day Project is a pilot program created to address housing retention for formerly homeless individuals who have been recently housed in Santa Clara County. New Day gives life to the concept of Meaningful Daily Activities: engaging activities and experiences, such as gardening, cooking, and arts and crafts that promote well-being. New Day utilizes strength-based collaboration between New Direction’s knowledgeable clinical Social Workers and Downtown Streets Team’s vibrant community participation, and peer leadership model that engages and educates the newly housed to find greater stability and community.

We are currently seeking funding to continue beyond March 2017 and expand the New Day Project. We would like New Day to provide assistance to those who are currently homeless as well. Go to our donation page or send a check. Make sure to clarify that the funding is to support the “New Day Project.”

Download our printable New Day informational flier.

Download our printable Orientation flier.

The New Day Projects

The Garden Team

Once a week 5 of our New Day Team Members make their way to Veggielution Community Farm to harvest produce for our low-income neighbors. We soak up the sun and work with our hands and know each Tuesday that we are connected to our community and the land. This experience leaves Team Members feeling useful and part of something bigger than themselves.

The Art Team

In partnership with Pacific Art League (PAL), we have created a dynamic art program. We host weekly art classes with New Day Team Members at PALs beautiful gallery space in Palo Alto. Participants are given opportunities to display and sell their art. This creative outlet has allowed many of our New Day Team Members to find a creative outlet to express their experiences.


Team Members from both the Art and Garden Team will also attend a weekly skill-building and wellness workshop promoting Team Members from both the Art and Garden Team also attend a weekly skill-building and wellness workshop promoting emotional, physical, and mental well-being. During each workshop we focus on goal setting and participants are rewarded for accomplishing their goals.

Social Workers from New Directions facilitate half of the workshops each quarter, offering clinical support and fostering greater coping skills to our Team Members. Our workshops include, but are not limited to: Sleep Hygiene, Cooking on a Budget, Yoga, Coping Skills, Green Cleaning, and mindfulness. We also spend our last day of each quarter on a field trip.

Ultimately, our Team Members build a healthy productive community where they focus on reaching their goals. Equipped with new skills and healthy habits our Team Members are able to successfully maintain their housing and contribute to their community in meaningful ways.

Additional Program Benefits

Team Members receive vital supportive services, including a small stipend to assist with basic needs, a free bus or train pass, and a wheelchair accessible shuttle service. We look forward to serving 25-40 Team Members annually.

Who is Eligible?

Our program engages formerly chronically homeless individuals who are currently in supportive housing.

Thank you to our collaborators

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New Day Project

The New Day Project helps newly-housed people find purpose in their life, build skills, access services, and reconnect with their community through meaningful activities.

Help grow this program, contact:

Nadia Zazie Waggener