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Donations cover 80% of budget for HOPE Shelters

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Malia Watson prepped for last year’s Kids in the Box event. The benefit for the HOPE Family Shelter is being moved to September.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED May 14, 2014 1:45 a.m.

There was a time when HOPE Family Shelters could rely on federal and state grants aimed at helping the homeless to contribute $125,000 to their annual budget.

Now almost 80 percent comes from donations from churches, individuals, businesses and fundraisers with just $22,000 from federal sources. The state, which made a big deal out of helping the homeless as the housing crisis unfolded, has not contributed a penny for years.

Executive Director Dave Thompson said that means fundraisers are more critical than ever before.

Upcoming fundraisers include:

• The Summer Solstice evening on Thursday, June 19, at a home adjacent to Delicato Vineyards. All proceeds from the $125 ticket sales goes to the shelter.

• The Kids in the Box event that has been moved from May to mid-September in a bid to increase participation.

The organization has kept costs in check in recent years with staffing cutbacks. It also has helped that the Manteca City Council used $1 million in redevelopment agency funds to rehab the shelter on West Yosemite Avenue across the street from the museum. That has significantly reduced energy costs as well as maintenance needs.

It costs $155,000 to run three shelters year round that at any given time have 55 people — families as well as single moms with children — staying in them. Except for the transitional housing, stays are limited to two months. Typically after that time is up the families or single moms have been able to secure housing with the money they have saved. Most are working when they are accepted into the shelter.

For various reasons ranging from medical issues to unexpected expenses or reduction in hours — they had been unable to pay rent. The stay in the shelter gives them time to save up the first month and deposit. In many cases they also learn to budget wiser.

As a result, they have a 70 percent plus success rate of people not needing to rely on shelters again.

Families and single moms prior to coming  to the shelter spend their time between living in cars or campgrounds and securing motel rooms when they can or else bounced from place to place sleeping on couches or in garages.

Thompson noted that HOPE Shelters have helped close to 5,000 people since the doors to the first shelter opened 21 years ago.

If you would like a ticket for the Summer Solstice contact Thompson at 209.824.0658.

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