For the first time in months there will be no late afternoon bustle, no stories of how things went last night, or what can we do if more than 80 people show up at the Armory. Ascencia’s Winter Shelter program, funded by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority to shelter people from the cold, ended on Saturday, March 1st. This seasonal program allowed us to do a little more to keep people off the streets and provide them with a nightly meal, shower and a safe place to sleep.
Program Director Mary Leasure and Shelter Manager Ron Haynes ensured that the program had structure and consistency. With mass shelters notoriously impersonal, we wanted this program to be different. And it was. We surveyed winter shelter program participants and the vast majority of responses widely praised staff for their fairness and caring attitude.
While it’s no secret that the winter programs are generally underfunded, we proposed running this program with faith that our generous community would help us close the gap to provide for our homeless neighbors this winter.
And with the help of numerous volunteers and organizations that contributed donated food, clothing and hygiene kits, we were able to show over 500 individuals that the community cares.
First and foremost, a HUGE Thank You to the First Baptist Church of Glendale.
While we spent most nights at National Guard armory, there were a number of nights throughout the season that we could not use the Armory. The First Baptist Church of Glendale gave us the space for our shelter, providing shelter for 80 individuals for 10+ nights in 3 months. Without the First Baptist Church of Glendale, we would have had to close the shelter on those ‘black out dates’.
It is with the greatest gratitude that we thank the following people and organizations who also made a difference for this program:
Adventist Medical Center
Church of the Nations
Congregation Hugat Haverim/David Gish
Costco & Porto’s Bakery through Urban Harvester
Didi Mumford/Book Club
First Methodist Church of Glendale
Food Fetish Catering
Glendale Community Church of God
Hanes through InvisiblePeople.tv
Holy Family High School
Incarnation Catholic School (6th Grade class)
Joe Russell and the Sociology Club of Glendale Community College
Mark Horvath and Invisible People
Mimi’s Café in Glendale
Natasha Najarro/Girl Scouts
National Charity League, Glendale
Nestle’s Inc in Glendale
Social Media Club Los Angeles
St. Francis High School
St. Peter Armenian Church, In His Shoes
Sunrise Produce and Danny Calvillo
Virgin Unite and Richard Branson
Whole Foods Market, Glendale Grab & Give Program
Special thanks to Mark Horvath and Elizabeth Tismeer (both Ascencia employees) for coordinating many of the donations to the Ascencia Winter Shelter, and a very warm thank you to Mary Leasure, Ron Haynes and the Winter Shelter Staff for such a job well done!
While we have reached the end of the Ascencia Winter Shelter and there is still much work to do in ending homelessness in Glendale, we are indebted to you, our community, for continually providing for our homeless neighbors. Thank you all so much.