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Grant Campaign for Local Homeless Center
updated: Jun 06, 2010, 7:30 PM

Source: Casa Esperanza

On Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 the Casa Esperanza Homeless Center launched a $250,000 matching challenge grant campaign designed to keep the doors open at the Casa Esperanza Homeless Center and the Community Kitchen of Santa Barbara.

Effective immediately and lasting through July 30th, 2010 every gift received will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000. Confronted with staggering numbers of homeless people in need and an ongoing economic recession that has reduced the amount of donations available to address the problem of homelessness throughout the region, Sarah Miller McCune, Leslie Ridley-Tree, The Gildea Foundation and the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara joined together to support Casa Esperanza in its effort to care for the homeless.

"Many people are not aware that over $1 million, 61% of Casa Esperanza's income, must be raised from charitable foundations and personal donations," said Michael Foley, Executive Director at Casa Esperanza. "Over the last 18 months we have faced unprecedented numbers of homeless people in desperate need and a decrease in available funding."

"As face potential cuts in available beds and services for some of our most vulnerable neighbors, this challenge opportunity is yet another miracle in a string of miracles that helps homeless people survive every day and for many to emerge from homelessness to housing," Foley added.

David Peri, a Casa Esperanza Board Member who was instrumental in securing these important gifts said "When you look at the fact that over 1,700 people came to us for help and hundreds end up housed instead of homeless, hundreds were placed in jobs, what services can we afford to cut when hopelessness and even death could be the result? These amazingly generous donors and organizations responded to the call with gifts of love and compassion - our hope is that many more will join them now and in the future."

On June 4th, over 30,000 people throughout the region will receive fund-raising letters signed by Sarah Miller McCune, Leslie Ridley-Tree, and Naomi Schwartz (from the Gildea Foundation). Donations will be used to support Casa Esperanza programs that include transitional living shelter beds, job development, counseling staff and more.

Funds donated to Casa Esperanza Community Kitchen of Santa Barbara will also be matched. The Community Kitchen is the only agency in Santa Barbara that collects food from grocery stores and restaurants and distributes that food to the hungry and homeless every day. In a twelve month period the Community Kitchen will create nearly 175,000 meals for those in need.

For the homeless who seek help at Casa Esperanza the road to housing is marked with successful steps towards economic, medical and personal recovery. At Casa Esperanza, the homeless can find the support services they need to reach their goals. From daily access to food and hygiene services, to medical care, shelter beds and counseling, job development and housing assistance, Casa Esperanza remains the only homeless center on the coast between Los Angeles and the Bay Area that is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year exclusively for the homeless.

More information about the shelter and its community kitchen is available online at www.casa-esperanza.org or by calling 884-0123.

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