Thursday, May 03, 2007

Supervisors OK Homeless Shelter Donation of $1M

Supervisors OK Homeless Shelter Donation of $1M
By DANNY BERNARDINI/The Reporter, Vacaville
Vallejo Times Herald

It was all applause and handshakes after the Solano County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to donate $1 million to help build a homeless shelter.

The board voted to spend the money from the county's General Fund toward Mission Solano's $8 million rehabilitation center in Fairfield.

Bridge to Life Center is to be located on a 3.5-acre site on Cordelia Road, across the street from the Solano County Health and Social Services building on Beck Avenue, according to Director of Health and Social Services Patrick Duterte.

The donation brings the total near the $8 million being sought. Mission Solano already had collected nearly $6.5 million from private donations, local corporations and through a promise from Home Aid.

Duterte told the board that when he first arrived in Solano County the homeless situation was bad.

"It was a very scary situation from what I observed," he told the board. "We were behind the curve, this will put us ahead of the curve."

Showing up to support the decision were those from Mission Solano as well as Fairfield Mayor Harry Price. The city of Fairfield has kicked in $900,000 as well. Price thanked the board for helping the homeless, who would not be casting votes in elections.

Board members Barbara Kondylis and Jim Spering applauded the shelter and both pointed to the money it would save throughout the county.

"It's a problem that's not going away," Spering said. "If we aren't proactive, you are looking at a larger investment."

The Bridge to Life would offer 158 beds to be used by homeless men, women and children. It will include a day-care center, men's transitional living quarters, a dining hall, education facilities, playing fields and a 200-seat chapel/multipurpose facility.

Residents would be eligible to stay for up to 18 months while finding somewhere more permanent to live.

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