Bidwell Park rang out with the sound of “Bingo!” On Sunday, Home & Heart supporters and employees gathered for some spirited bingo games and to provide information and raise funds for the organization.

According to the organization’s website, Home & Heart is an affordable housing solution that suits adults in Butte County who have a room to share with people in need of affordable housing. While they prioritize services for older adults, the program is open to all eligible adults who have a room to share (housing providers) or those looking for affordable housing (housing seekers).

  • Home & Heart’s program manager, Sierra Schmidt, calls for bingo moves in the Oak Grove Picnic Area in Bidwell Park on Sunday. (Jennie Blevins / Chico Enterprise Record)

  • Bingo attendees study their boards carefully at Home & Heart’s Sunday fundraiser in Bidwell Park. (Jennie Blevins / Chico Enterprise Record)

  • Caitlyn Patterson won the first Sunday bingo game and received a Beatniks gift card and a free meal at Madison Bear Garden. (Jennie Blevins / Chico Enterprise Record)

Homeshare participants will receive support throughout the duration of the game, including mediation or help with renegotiating the shared apartment agreement as needed.

The program was originally attended to bring seniors together with younger people, but since the campfire it has offered services to young and old who need or provide housing.

Shawn Ramsey attended the event as a first-time home owner in hopes of networking.

“It’s the best way to get to know more people,” she said. Ramsey has a few people interested in staying in her house, but nothing specific yet. Ramsey, who lives in Paradise, also volunteered for the program, picking up a woman who is struggling to get to Chico for shopping.

According to the website, three types of housing are available for the organization: rent only, service exchange and a mixed type of housing.

The first resembles a traditional roommate situation, in which the apartment hunter pays the apartment provider a reasonable monthly rent. The second is a cashless rental option that allows apartment hunters to provide services in lieu of bar rent.

The apartment hunter and the housing provider negotiate the number of hours and the type of services to be exchanged each month based on their specific needs and skills. The apartment hunter is still responsible for his or her share of the ancillary costs and personal expenses. The services may not include personal hygiene such as bathing, going to the toilet or medication management.

The third is a mixed arrangement with a combination of bar rental and service hours. This is the most common scheme and offers home providers the benefit of additional income and housekeeping, and home hunters pay a much lower monthly fee. Providers benefit from additional income and domestic help, and apartment hunters pay much less each month.

Mollie Murphy attended the event as a supporter.

“I fully believe in the program and show support where I can,” she said.

Home & Heart has played six successful apartment games so far in 2021 and hopes to hit 15 by the end of the year, according to Director Cathryn Carkhuff, who gave a brief speech to welcome bingo attendees.

Supporter Caitlyn Patterson won the first bingo game and received a gift card for Madison Bear Garden and a gift card from Beatnik’s Coffee House and Breakfast Joint.

Patterson (probably) smiled behind her mask as she received her award.

“I did an internship at Home & Heart,” she said. “I’m here to show my support.”

The treasurer of the board, Kyle Willman, enjoyed playing bingo and hoped the event would be successful.

“We let people know what we’re doing,” said Willman. “We are looking for more engagement in the community and want to involve people. People need domestic help with the housing shortage. It’s so important for people who are in a tight spot. “

There was also a mask competition and opportunities to mingle with other bingo participants.

For more information on Home & Heart, call 591-3742 or visit buttecountyhomeshare.com. There you will find housing applications. The staff can also be reached by email at homeandheart530@gmail.com.