The Santa Clarita Valley’s only homeless shelter hosted an open house Sunday as part of its Soup for the Soul, a fundraising effort to support its ultimate goal of year-round operations.
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The shelter, which is located off Drayton Street in Newhall, welcomed hundreds who came by to look at the facilities and services offered, and see how they could help.
“We’re growing every year,” said Tim Davis, executive director for Bridge to Home, the organization that operates the homeless shelter.
Davis attributed to the growth of the shelter’s services and its ability to stay open 127 nights this year, the most in the shelter’s 17-year history, to the fact that the community has stepped up its contributions.
“Every dinner has been subscribed to a Boy Scout, a Girl Scout, a church, the Soroptimists, somebody,” Davis said. “Every one of our sack lunches has been subscribed to somebody. One thing we started with years ago, is we wanted maximum community involvement.”
This was evident Sunday at the shelter as residents from all sectors — local Hart district students, Realtors and volunteers from other nonprofits in the community pitched in to help.
“(The Southland Regional Association of Realtors) is a sponsor and we’re very happy to be here,” said Nancy Lulejian Starczyk of Realty Executives. “We feel that it’s important to support anything that brings people closer to a home.”
The shelter provides more than a warm bed and meal, Davis said, noting that there’s also a part-time dental clinic, job-placement and counseling programs and when possible, the shelter has helped those on the brink of being kicked out of their homes with temporary assistance.
There was a $40 dinner ticket that offered a soup bowl and dessert, with the proceeds going toward helping the shelter with its ultimate goal — finding a permanent home.
The shelter is in the middle of a three-year lease with the city, but trying to raise $1 million, which officials have said will allow the shelter to either open a permanent home or relocate at the end of that lease.
Linda Davies, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley’s Domestic Violence Center, said she was there as a volunteer and local resident because she wanted to help out a great cause.
“I really love the project and (the Soup for the Soul) — what a great concept,” she said. “I think that all our organizations should be working closer together.”
The bowls, which came from Paint a Dream, with help from numerous local Girl Scouts who painted them, were donated as a thank you to those who bought a dinner ticket.
“This is an important safety net for people in our community,” said Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, “so it’s very worthy of supporting.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News