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Faith-Based Group Brings Back Rotating Shelter

Housing, food, job-search help and other counseling are part of the services of Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter.

A collaborative of more than 20 churches and community service groups will open the doors to a rotating shelter for homeless men come March.

“There is still a critical need in our community to assist the homeless,” said Cathey Edwards, who will serve as its non-paid executive director. “A similar program operated for 19 years and was supervised by West Valley Community Services (formerly Cupertino Community Services). The on-going requests for assistance by this constituent group simply cannot be ignored.”

Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter will move from one host church or synagogue to another each month providing shelter for up to 15 homeless men who are either employed or employable.

Eight host sites are secured and talks are in progress with a couple others, but Edwards said SV Rotating Shelter still needs to secure a couple more so to reach its goal of each site hosting one month per year.

On a daily basis the shelter will open at 8 p.m. and close at 7 a.m. A secure area will be provided for the residents personal belongings during the day. When the shelter moves, the men’s personal belongings and supplies for the shelter will be moved for them from one host site to the next by a team of volunteers.

The men must pass an application and screening process, sign a contract that says they agree to be clean and sober while part of the program. In exchanged they will be allowed to remain in the shelter for up to 90 days.

“We will provide case management, shelter, meals, shower facilities, bus passes, job counseling, job development and other supportive services for homeless men who are willing and able to maintain employment and seek a permanent place to live,” said Nadine Hutchinson, case manager, and one of the paid staff of the SV Rotating Shelter.  "With the support of the faith-based organizations and the community at-large we will be able to provide, and improve on, the supportive services needed to serve the individuals in our program."

Overnight supervision and case management are two keys to the success of the program, Edwards said, so bringing back some of the same employees that ran the WVCS program—which closed in August 2010—is a boon to the program.

The shelter will employ three overnight supervisors and one case manager, who will hold group house meetings on a weekly basis at the shelters as well as individual check-ins to ensure the men are on the right track and any help needed is provided.

In-kind support and funding for the program, which covers administrative costs comes from a variety of churches, synagogues and community service organizations. It is not seeking any public funding at this time, Edwards said, because it is simply not there.

There are six members on the board of directors, and the group is looking for four more. Board members and executive staff will receive no compensation.

Among the participating host faith organizations in Cupertino are , , and ; Los Gatos United Methodist Church; included in Sunnyvale are Trinity Methodist, Sunnyvale First Methodist, St. Thomas Episcopal Church of Sunnyvale, and Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church; in Saratoga are Beth David of Saratoga, and Ascension Catholic Parish of Saratoga,.

Community organizations involved include , Kiwanis Club of DeAnza, , Sunnyvale Rotary, Cupertino Grange, EHC Lifebuilders, . A handful of corporate partners such as Legacy Transportation Service and are also committed.

For more information go to: www.faithinactionsv.org

susan December 15, 2011 at 05:45 PM
You all are to be commended for all the hard work required to organize such a monumental task, continueing the tradition of helping others. You are an inspiration to others, that when there is a will there is a way. God bless you all!

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