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Homeless Shelter To Reopen Thursday

The temporary housing formerly operated by the Salvation Army will be run by the Pajaro Rescue Mission and called Grace Harbor.

The name, Grace Harbor, says it all.

By the grace of God, or that of many dedicated community servants, the men's and women's shelters previously operated by the Salvation Army will reopen Thursday under the umbrella of the Pajaro Rescue Mission.

There will be a ribbon-cutting at 3 p.m. Thursday at the shelters, Union and Maple streets in Watsonville. The community is invited.

The Salvation Army shuttered the majority of its Watsonville shelters in August, citing declining revenues.

Since then, a committee of business people, city staff and leaders in the faith community have come together to find a way to reopen the shelters this winter. Unemployment spikes in agriculture-dependant Watsonville during the off-season, just one catalyst that can lead to homelessness.

The shelters will be renamed Grace Harbor.

They open just in time for the winter shelter proram, which runs from November to April, with hope that enough funding can be raised to support a year-round program. Meals will be provided by area churches and Rescue Mission staff with supplies from Second Harvest Food Bank, according to information provided by Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano, who is on the Pajaro Rescue Mission Board of Directors.

The reopened shelters, on Union and Maple streets, will provide approximately 65 beds. There is an effort to collect donations to outfit those cots, according to Mike Scherer, the pastor of Cathedral of Faith Watsonville, which will open soon in the city.

Scherer said there is an urgent need for new or gently used Twin size flat and fitted sheets, standard size pillows and cases, twin size comforters, twin size blankets, twin size mattress pads, throws or afghans.

The are three locations to drop off bedding gifts, but please call first: 

  • GateWay Bible Church, 5000 Granite Creek Rd., Scotts Valley, 831-438-0646
  • Christian Life Center, 1009 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 831-426-7733
  • Teen Challenge, Pajaro Rescue Mission, 104 Maple St. Watsonville, 831-359-8804

Pajaro Rescue Mission, a faith-based nonprofit in Pajaro, operates in conjunction with Teen Challenge Monterey Bay. This partnership, with 157 beds before the opening of Grace Harbor, provides over 11,000 prepared meals each month, 4,575 nights of shelter each month, and 2,744 days of program each month, as well as thousands of hours of community service. 

All contributions to Pajaro Rescue Mission may be tax-deductible as allowable by state and federal laws. (FEIN 77-0110133) For information on drop-off locations and items that are needed, please call and leave message at 831-288-5699.

BarT November 15, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Keep in mind that many homeless folks seeking shelter and assistance may be registered sex offenders. Before anyone supports a shelter they should find out if the shelter screens out those on the sex offender registry.
HizDesign November 16, 2012 at 04:27 AM
The offer is for food and shelter. The people in charge aren't ignorant, but they aren't heartless either. <smile>

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