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December 31

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services

Organization Mission

Our mission is to assist homeless women, children, and families in obtaining stable housing through temporary shelter and services. We also provide intensive bilingual case management services proven to empower families to build self-sufficiency skills and overcome personal obstacles that led to homelessness. Our comprehensive and individualized plan to end homelessness in our communities defines us as a fundamental site of community empowerment.

The Big Idea:
Empowerment Financial Education for Homeless Families with Children

Funds from Santa Cruz Gives will support our financial consultation and workshops, which enable client families to save up to 90 percent of their income. Financial training and savings assist adults to transition to successful employment, independent housing, and a self-sufficient lifestyle with their children. One-on-one financial consciousness training and reconciliation meetings are conducted monthly with each family. Monthly, without exception, 100 percent of PVSS families submit all sources of income and all receipts for their expenses.

PVSS recognizes that the solution to homelessness lies beyond shelter—in identification of barriers and all-encompassing intervention. To break the cycle of homelessness, each year 80 families in PVSS programs develop self-sufficiency skills through intensive case management services and more than 40 workshops in areas such as emotional stability, domestic violence, banking and budgeting, family and cultural rituals, house maintenance, and nutrition.

[In PVSS’ Transitional Housing Program,] I’ve learned how to save money and started preparing for the GED at the Watsonville/Aptos Adult Education; in May of 2017, I graduated and my kids witnessed their mother walking across the stage. I want to be a great example for my kids and let them know, ‘YES YOU CAN:’ my eldest son told me, ‘you looked very pretty when you graduated. I’m going to take your example to also graduate from high school.’ I want my children to have a better life, go to college, and have a good job so they never have to experience homelessness. I am grateful for the opportunity to feel useful and gain self-confidence, and I continue to work full-time, attend English classes, and ultimately want to make a career as a Certified Nurse Assistant.
Araceli in Watsonville, CA, age 30