by Carla Jackson –
The California Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced awards of almost $17 million from the Federal Emergency Shelter Grant Program, Emergency Housing Assistance – Capital Development Program and the Multifamily Housing Program.
Of that amount, $9 million is designed to assist projects that support disabled, homeless, or those at risk for becoming homeless individuals. The balance of more than $7 million will fund shelters for 2,400 homeless in 22 counties. The Salvation Army Whittier and Santa Barbara Hospitality Houses are two of the proud recipients of these awards.
The Salvation Army Whittier Hospitality House received $157,600 to be awarded over two years for essential services, operations, and grant administration. The Whittier Hospitality House (WHH), under the leadership of Majors Steven and Merry Svenson, is a year-round emergency shelter with supportive services for homeless men, women and families. The program serves up to 37 individuals, including 24 men and women, and three homeless families.
WHH provides meals, showers, client assessment and case management, substance abuse support, computer access/basic skills training, and laundry facilities. The program is open every day from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., with street outreach provided from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is designed to move clients toward self-sufficiency by providing a period of stabilization, increasing their skills and income, and assisting clients in entering transitional or permanent housing. Approximately 75 percent of clients have a history of substance abuse.
The Whittier Hospitality House was developed and expanded in response to a recognized need for
emergency shelters in the community, and is currently only one of two emergency shelters located in the city of Whittier.
The Salvation Army Santa Barbara Hospitality House received $226,039 to be awarded over two years for essential services, operations, and grant administration.
The Santa Barbara Hospitality House (SBHH), under the leadership of Lieutenants Nigel and Stacy Cross, is a year-round, 24-hour emergency shelter and transitional housing facility with supportive services for homeless men and women.
SBHH accommodates up to 65 adults with 42 emergency beds and 23 transitional beds (the latter is operated with separate funding) in dorm style rooms. The emergency shelter component of the program serves approximately 204 adults annually. The average length of stay is 90 days and the maximum length of stay is six months.
The SBHH provides clients with comprehensive on-site services, including: needs assessments, case management, meals, mental health assessment, medical services, financial planning, assistance with resume preparation, job searches, and assistance accessing long-term transitional and permanent housing.
The ultimate goal of The Santa Barbara Hospitality House’s emergency shelter program and accompanying support services is to help clients become self-supporting. Approximately 55 percent of SBHH clients are dually diagnosed and 50 percent are parolees. Almost all are unemployed and have few marketable skills, making the job readiness training and placement, social model substance abuse recovery support, and life skills training, critical components of the program.