Homeless coalition to stop running shelter after this winter

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Rev. Edwin Perryman serves up a hot meal at the San Benito County Homeless Shelter in this file photo.

This winter will be the last in which the Homeless Coalition of San Benito County runs the seasonal homeless shelter, the nonprofit group’s chairwoman announced Tuesday.
Chairwoman Pat Loe told county supervisors Tuesday that the local coalition, organized for about a decade, would end its operations of the seasonal homeless shelter after the 2015-16 cycle.
Loe said the majority of the coalition’s board agreed with the decision and that it was the best move for the homeless clients.
“The decision was not made lightly; nor was it not made with some sadness,” Loe said. “It has been our great privilege to serve the homeless over the last 10 years.”
She said the decision was a natural step for the volunteer-run organization, which doesn’t have the people or funding capabilities to run a permanent, full-time shelter. County supervisors recently decided to operate the permanent shelter 24/7 year-round once built with federal grant funding and they designated a site along Flynn Road as the preferred location.
She noted how the county’s anticipated service contractor—supervisors have yet to consider specific operators, though officials have held discussions on the issue—will have “resources that we have never had.”
Loe, a former supervisor, said the group will participate in the 12 Days of Giving charity program this winter to help fund this coming season. But after this winter, the nonprofit and its “hundreds” of volunteers will likely disband at some point, she told the Free Lance after the meeting.
“That doesn’t mean people won’t go on to do other things,” she said.

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