A May 23 open house at the local homeless shelter offered the public an opportunity to view expanded facilities, as well as the new Whole Person Care department office. The shelter, known as the Housing Opportunities Meals Employment (HOME) Resource Center, is located at 1161 San Felipe Road in Hollister.
The open house marks the completion of Phase Two development at the center. New facilities include a laundry area, kitchen and computer lab, all of which will be up and running by July 1. The Whole Person Care department consists of several offices and a large conference room.
“Being next to the shelter makes a lot of sense because over half our clients come from there,” said program manager Kimberley Allen, adding that the proximity will allow shelter guests easier access to county services.
Enrique Arreola, deputy director of San Benito County Community Services & Workforce Development, said the computer lab will give homeless residents the chance to learn basic computer skills and provide access to job information, email and other media.
“Part of the goal for Phase Two is services, training and support,” he said.
Funding for shelter improvements comes from several sources, including the San Benito County Community Action Board. The county secured a $5 million grant to pay for Phase Two.
Arreola said the Whole Person Care conference room will be used for client job training as well as substance abuse programs—maybe even art classes. He also wants the kitchen in the shelter to provide cooking classes.
“Everyone deserves the dignity to be treated with respect,” Arreola said.
Phase Three will include transitional housing, while Phases Four and Five are set to include employment development and permanent housing. There is no date yet for when the remaining phases will be completed.
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