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Winter Shelter Struggles To Meet Needs

khts_inthecommunityThe Santa Clarita Winter Shelter has been giving families and individuals a warm place to stay for more than 10 years, but in the last few weeks it has seen a spike in those needing assistance.

The shelter generally has enough room to serve 40 clients but since December they have had to make room for an additional 12-18 people.

"We've never had any numbers approaching this," said Tim Davis, Executive Director of the shelter.  "Last year was our biggest year and we had several nights of 41 or 42 [people], we've never had 50 clients before."

Typically the shelter is divided up into two sections, one for men and one for women, but the increase in the number of people using the facility forced officials to use the whole facility as a men's shelter and move the women into a motel for the night.

"We have never turned away a client and we are fighting as hard as we can to never turn away a client," said Davis.

The shelter is working with the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority, which has allowed them to divert money that is generally allocated to put families with children in motels, to house the additional individuals in motels.

"It was a space issue, but now it's turned into a money issue," said Davis.

John Bocobo has stepped up to help with that money issue by donating all the proceeds he makes from his Fit Body Boot Camp session on February 13.

The "Burn the Fat, Feed the Hungry" camp will be held at Gymcheer USA on Centre Pointe Parkway, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For $25 participants will work out in a group atmosphere designed to burn fat and firm and tone their body.  In addition those attending will learn fitness and weight-loss concepts during the class.

"This is a fun and social way to introduce an alternative to boring gym workouts and at the same time help out a charity that does so much to feed the hungry, especially in this economy," explains Bocobo. "Honestly, I can't think of a better way to kick up your energy than spending a Saturday morning having a fun workout with some really great people."

Bocobo requests donations be paid by check and be made out to Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation.

The Santa Clarita Winter Shelter provides shelter, food, clothing, medical and mental services as well as other assistance and referrals to its clients.

Although they receive a large portion of their funding from LAHSA, many local organizations help out as well.

A number of Churches including Grace Baptist, Real Life Church, and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints, donate many of the meals that the shelter provides.

Smaller churches also help out by providing one or two meals a month.

The shelter also provides a sack lunch to its clients each morning and those are often donated by local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts or school organizations.

"Its really a beautiful town we live in.  The volunteers help our clients feel recognized, and feel like people," said Davis.

For more information on the shelter and its need click here.  

To learn more about the "Burn the Fat, Feed the Hungry" event contact John Bocobo at (818) 635-9143.