As one way to highlight the good deeds and hard work of our neighbors, Assemblyman Jim Wood’s office features a “Community Champion” every month. The champion can be an individual, a group, an organization or a business that makes us proud to be a part of the community we live in.
This month's Community Champion is Kristina Harju. She is the Programs Manager for the nonprofit Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) and oversees most of its programs, including the Hospitality Center’s mental health wellness and homelessness services, and Transitional Housing.
Kristina was born and raised in Fort Bragg. She overcame her own mental health challenges, trauma, substance abuse and homelessness through utilizing many local services including those of the MCHC.
During the past few years Kristina has risen through the ranks at MCHC through her hard work and perseverance, and always with compassion shining through all her work. She has sought out opportunities to increase her knowledge through study and has spent many weekends traveling to mental health recovery classes. As a result, Kristina has brought two well-regarded courses to the MCHC, which she facilitates, that were not available on the Mendocino coast before – “NAMI Peer-to-Peer" and "Wellness Recovery Action Plan."
Kristina is at the heart of the services to the homeless and mentally ill in Fort Bragg and a tireless advocate for those in need. She coaches and mentors her own staff. Kristina also knows how important it is to have performance statistics on the center’s services and spends countless hours completing data reports without a word of complaint.
Kristina is a role model for others. She is a quiet-spoken and modest person who is an unsung hero in our community.
In her home life Kristina is raising her daughter and caring for her elderly mother in their downtown Fort Bragg home. Her faith is a strong element of her life.
Assemblyman Jim Wood will be presenting the award at the Hospitality Center at 11.30am on August 4th, 2017. The Assemblyman will also get to meet the new tenants of the Hospitality Center Transitional Housing on the second floor.
Hospitality Center is located at 101 N. Franklin Street in Fort Bragg (Tel 707 961 0172), and is part of the nonprofit “Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center”. www.mendocinochc.org