Homeless shelter may have to close

December 31, 2008 11:46:29 PM PST
The New Year is bringing devastating news to a struggling South Bay non-profit. It's one of the few that provides housing for homeless families. InnVision fell far short of its 2008 fundraising goal. Many clients will have to find new housing starting on New Year's Day.

At InnVision's Menlo Park homeless shelter, the New Years Eve celebration was cut short after this announcement.

"We're going to have to start talking about moving on," said the shelter's director.

The New Year will likely bring unwanted change for 100 families and individuals who live here. The facility needed $500,000 by Wednesday to stay open. InnVision raised less than half.

At the shelter, InnVision only has enough money in its account to cover its first payroll in January and that's it. Staffers have already been put on notice.

"I've been doing this for 20 years and this is the first time we've had to consider closing a program," said Christine Burroughs, the CEO of Innvision.

There's been a steady drop in donations, while the need for services shot up 20 percent this year. InnVision also plans to cut office hours at its outreach center in Palo Alto to save money.

"It just breaks my heart if we close the shelter that the people I've come to care for, have to go to another shelter," said Lorena Collins, the shelter's director.

Collins has some tough days ahead of her, beginning with facing the reality of closing.

"Without this place I'd be out on the street," said a homeless man.

Even though everyone will be re-located, this is one of the few family shelters in the area.

The Dalys moved in five months ago after Russell was hurt on the job. Now they face the possibility of being separated into different shelters.

"It's going to hurt everyone here when they tell them, but I'm more worried about my wife and kids if that did happen," said Russell Daly, a homeless man.

But for now, this family will celebrate the New Year together, and deal with what's to come, on another night.

If you can help InnVision or if you want more information on its services: click here