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July 26, 2001

For More Information, Contact:
Jamille Moens at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that funding to support construction of the first homeless service center for women and children between San Francisco and San Jose was approved by the Governor.

Simitian’s original request of $100,000 for the homeless center was approved by the State Assembly and State Senate, but, like many other worthy proposals, was reduced by the Governor to $80,000 in an effort to increase reserves.

Simitian said he was pleased the Governor recognized the value this center will bring to the community.  “I’m particularly gratified that the center will provide homeless women and their families with access to coordinated, comprehensive services in one location,” said Simitian.

Services to be provided include shelter, nutritionally balanced meals, showers and bathrooms, laundry facilities, hygiene supplies, clothing, intensive case management and counseling, health care, respite care for mothers, preschool, motel and transportation vouchers, budget management training, mentoring, childcare training, support groups and physical fitness activities.

Simitian said he has long been concerned that, “There are precious few resources available for homeless women and their families.  A meal and a bed for the night don’t solve the problem.  These women need real help in getting their lives back on track.  Now they’re going to get it.”

This first-of-its-kind facility will be located at the Veterans Hospital in Menlo Park adjacent to the Clara-Mateo Homeless Shelter.  It is a collaboration involving 46 service agencies in two counties, and is spearheaded by the Clara-Mateo Alliance.  Clara-Mateo will receive the State funds for one-time construction costs associated with renovating facilities at the Veterans Hospital so they are equipped to meet the needs of homeless women.

“State funding for this homeless women’s center will help fill a critical gap in the services women need to keep their families intact and make progress on the path to self-sufficiency,” said Simitian.  “It makes all the sense in the world to give these women a hand up as they struggle to cope with the high cost of living on the Peninsula.”

Angel Batt, Executive Director of Clara-Mateo Alliance, observed, “The money in the state budget is essential to making this project work.  We’re grateful to have Assemblyman Simitian as an ally in our efforts to serve homeless women and their children.”

Simitian noted that, “Over the long-run, programs like the homeless women’s center and shelter can actually save the State money by giving these families the support they need to be self-sufficient and succeed in Silicon Valley.”

The State’s contribution to capital costs will be matched by contributions from the private sector and other government agencies.  The center is expected to open in the fall of this year.



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