The SCV Emergency Winter Shelter closes its doors for the season on March 15. Many of the shelter’s clients will return to local washes, streets and their cars.
“It is always extremely difficult for us to close the doors on our homeless community,” said Tim Davis, the shelter’s Executive Director. “We continued to see a growth in the need for our services this year. Many of our own neighbors continue to feel the lingering impact of the recent recession, driving many of our clients to homelessness for the first time.”
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From December through the end of February, the shelter served 230 individual adults. On an average night, the shelter hosted 43 single individuals (31 males and 12 females on average). On many nights the shelter has run at overcapacity, serving up to 58 individuals at one time.
A total of 29 families have sought assistance through the shelter’s motel voucher program thus far. Within those families, the shelter has served 38 children.
More than ever, shelter staff and board members feel the need for a year-round shelter.
“The homeless do not disappear on March 15th,” Davis said. “As our homeless population grows, it becomes more vital that we have year-round access to our clients so that we can be more effective in getting them the job, the medical attention, and housing assistance they need to get back on their feet and back into the work force.”
There are different programs underway to gain the financial backing needed to operate a year-round shelter and program. Community members can become a “Friend of the Shelter” by donating $10 per month. There is also “100 Business Friends” whereby local business can donate $500 a year.
Although the doors are closed, there are still many ways for the community to get involved with helping local homeless. The shelter’s board is seeking several volunteers to help with upcoming fundraisers and awareness events.
To donate or volunteer visit www.santaclaritashelter.com or call 661-259-1298. Checks can also be sent to: SCCDC, PO Box 802978, Santa Clarita, CA 91380-2978