Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fairfield Set for Shelter's Construction

Fairfield Set for Shelter's Construction
Officials Break Ground Today on the First Phase of Mission Solano, a Comprehensive Homeless Services Center.
By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

Building a bridge in the rather dry southwestern corner of Fairfield may not seem like a worthwhile project.
However, when that bridge isn't made to cross water, but rather to span the troubled times of some folks, it makes more sense.

Ground will break today on the first phase of Mission Solano, a $9 million comprehensive homeless services center, at the corner of Beck Avenue and Cordelia Road in Fairfield.

The first phase includes the "Bridge to Life Center," a resource that will accomodate more than 100 women and children.

"The center will offer a solution that is comprehensive and cooperative, one that uses proven, effective strategies and all available resources," said Ron Marlette, the executive director of Mission Solano.

He said the "Bridge" center will provide long-term relief for part of the county's homeless population not just by hosting beds, but by bringing together a number of area programs and services.

Among those services will be basic education, job training, one-on-one counselling, access to health services and money management training.

Future phases of the project are scheduled to include transitional housing for up to 48 homeless families, men's housing units and a full education and training center.

So far, $4.7 million has been raised for Mission Solano, Marlette said, enough to fund the first phase. The city of Fairfield has been a financial supporter of the project, as has nonprofit HomeAid.

Marlette said fundraising for the future phases will begin soon after work begins on the "Bridge" center.

Private fundraising is being kicked off in the community. The Fairfield-Suisun Christian Center will hold a benefit for the homeless center on Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. at its Suisun City location to raise money and awareness for the project.

For more information on the benefit, call Keisha McCalister at 720-6341.

Today's groundbreaking will be at the project site at 10:30 a.m.

Tom Hall can be reached at

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