Interfaith’s new year-round Haven House Emergency Shelter opens for business

Making the Haven House winter scene.

Who: Interfaith Community Services

What: Grand Opening of the Year-Round Haven House Emergency Shelter

Where: 550 W. Washington Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

When: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23

Following a successful final inspection today by Escondido officials, Interfaith Community Services’ homeless shelter, Haven House, opens for business tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 23.

This is the first year for the groundbreaking Haven House, a new year-round emergency center designed to house up to 49 homeless men and women each night at 550 W Washington Avenue.

The new year-round Haven House Emergency Shelter will focus on providing shelter to those who are either already working, or are on-track to gain employment, for whom housing assistance will allow them to achieve self-sufficiency and stabilization, according to Interfaith officials.

The year-round center will operate much the same as the previously operated winter shelter.  interfaith officials said nearly 60 percent of last year’s Haven House residents went on this year to secure and safe affordable housing.

“The opportunity to open the first year-round emergency shelter in the history of our North County community is monumental,” Interfaith Community Services executive director Greg Anglea said. “Haven House has a proven track record, so we’re excited to build off of that model and provide housing to those on our streets – especially just in time for Christmas. We hope this makes the holiday season a little brighter for nearly 50 members of our community in critical need of help.”

Anglea added: “This is about much more than just an emergency shelter. It’s about creating a continuum of care for the poorest and most vulnerable in our community. With a year-round shelter, we can and we will provide better tomorrows for those facing difficult todays.”

Interfaith Community Services Escondido Nutrition Center serving Haven House meals.

Interfaith Community Services Escondido Nutrition Center serving Haven House meals.

Interfaith operates a massive effort to help those on the streets and in need. The group served almost 340,000 meals to hungry people with limited resources last year. The organization also operates the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center, which opened on Oct. 7 with 32 beds, including 20 reserved for military veteran’s.

Those interested in volunteering at Haven House may sign up for as many shifts as their hearts desire. Shifts generally range from one to three hours. For more information contact Jan Ferris, shelter administrator, preferably by email at janferris68@yahoo.com or call (760) 801-0420

Interfaith is asking for help from the community to raise the funds needed to complete this project. Estimated first year costs are $500,000, including the renovation of the winter shelter and operating costs including food, staffing and access to programs.

Interfaith has secured an initial private gift of $250,000 and is seeking to match that with an additional $250,000 in donations. To date, $70,000 is still needed in community support to make the year-round shelter a reality, officials said

For more information about donating, visit: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/InterfaithCommunityServices/OnlineDonation.html