Thanks to RH Community Builders and other supporters, people who are homeless have a roof over their heads, meals, and guidance to better days ahead.
On Dec. 13, the 77-bed RH Winter Warming Shelter opened at 2445 W. Whitesbridge Ave., in southwest Fresno. Within 96 hours, the shelter reached capacity.
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“We have been full every night since then,” RHCB Executive Director Kate Wilbur said Monday after the center’s official ribbon-cutting.
Low-Barrier Shelter Needs Donations, Volunteers
It is a low-barrier shelter, offering accommodations for single individuals, couples, families, and their pets.
The idea, says Wilbur, is to link the homeless to permanent housing solutions while at the shelter.
“Our goal is to transition everyone into what they need,” Wilbur said. “Whether that is addiction treatment, supportive housing, or independent housing. And we’ve been doing that with our staff and volunteers.”
The program continues to need donations and volunteers, Wilbur said.
Shelter Is on Former CAP Campus
The story of how the shelter came into operation is an interesting one.
It is on the campus that formerly housed Comprehensive Addiction Programs Inc., which closed in September. After learning that CAP wouldn’t resume operations until sometime in early 2020, RHCB executives Wayne Rutledge and Brad Hardie decided that the facility shouldn’t sit vacant given Fresno’s pressing homelessness challenges.
Rutledge and Hardie are financing the center’s operations. Poverello House provides lunch and dinner daily, and Uncle Harry’s New York Bagelry is donating breakfast.
The nonprofit homeless advocacy group “We Are Not Invisible” is mobilizing volunteers. And, Regency Property Management Group and the Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care are supporting efforts to find permanent housing for those at the shelter.
RHCB’s Landlord Engagement/Mitigation Program
The shelter plans to close at the end of February, but RHCB — a new community group that aims to end homelessness through strategic approaches — will continue its landlord engagement and mitigation program.
Says the RHCB website:
“The landlord engagement and mitigation fund is designed to increase the inventory of housing available to Fresno and Madera County residents whom have historically been difficult to house. RHCB is building relationships with landlords across Fresno and Madera counties to increase their willingness to rent to difficult to house residents.
“Additionally RHCB, utilizing the mitigation fund, provides reassurance to landlords that their investment will not be lost.”
Additional information is available from Wilbur at 559 376-0019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.