Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Almost 200 winter homeless shelter beds will open tonight in communities around North County. The goal is to prevent people who have hit hard times from joining the ranks of the chronically homeless.
Almost two hundred winter homeless shelter beds will open tonight in communities around North County.
The North County Winter Shelter program is not designed to be a place where the chronically homeless who live on the streets year-round can come out of the cold.
Laurin Pause of the Alliance for Regional Solutions says this program is designed for people who have hit hard times and need intensive support to get back on their feet.
“Our winter shelters are not for the chronic homeless,” Pause said. “This model is around your transitional and episodically homeless. The episodically homeless have not been homeless in the past. They are all-of-a-sudden in a homeless situation, not where they’ve ever been before. It’s tough to get help from the system when you don’t know which questions to ask.”
Pause says the program helped more than 600 people last year.
She says this year the number of families recently made homeless has grown, and the number of jobs available to help them recover has shrunk.
Nine north county cities, plus several churches and non-profits contribute to the program, which is in its third year.
Doors open tonight in Oceanside, Vista, Escondido and Carlsbad. Most locations expect a line of people to be waiting for the beds.