(Brenda Barriga of the Salvation Army paints the railing Monday for a newly refurbished day center at the Salvation Army on Grant Street in Watsonville. Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)
WATSONVILLE — The Salvation Army in Watsonville will host an open house at its new homeless day center on Monday, a time when visitors can tour the facility and learn about the services offered there.
The center is used during the winter as an overnight shelter, but that service ends in April as warmer weather arrives and funding dries up.
The day center offers a place for homeless people to securely store their belongings, take a shower, check email and take care of their day-to-day needs.
They can also access services offered by organizations such as Homeless Services Center, Homeless Peoples Health Project and Pajaro Valley Shelter Services.
Even as Salvation Army officials prepare to open the center, however, they are hoping they can find the funding to keep the shelter open year-round.
“We’re trying to get away from the idea of a winter shelter,” said Salvation Army Capt. Harold Laubach. “We want to give them every tool possible to help them get out of their homeless situation.”
Always at capacity, the winter facility offers 38 beds — more, if officials roll out the portable cots — to people who need to get out of the cold, wet winter weather.
To keep the shelter open year-round, the organization needs to raise an estimated $650,000 annually, which Laubach describes as “incredibly challenging.”
But it meshes perfectly with the organization’s mission of charity work to help communities, Laubach said.
“We want to make our community better,” he said.
The Salvation Army Day Center open house is scheduled for Monday at 12 p.m. at 104 Grant St. For information or to make a donation, call 724-3922 or come to the office at 112 Grant St.