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Casa Esperanza Homeless Center Launches Winter Fundraising Drive

In response to an urgent call for support starting in September, the Casa Esperanza Homeless Center has been able to stay open during its transition to a 24-hour sobriety-based shelter program.

More than 300 community members and organizations responded, surpassing the $300,000 emergency fundraising goal during this critical first phase of restructuring. The nonprofit must now raise $220,000 by year end to sustainably carry the homeless through the annual winter shelter season.

“We are thankful beyond words to the community for rising to the first urgent phase of need as we refocus on the most successful solutions to homelessness,” said Mike Foley, executive director of Casa Esperanza. “As anticipated, we are asking others now to please step up during this traditional season of giving, and help us meet the next challenge — our winter shelter season.”

As it transitions to a significantly reduced operating budget, Casa Esperanza is counting on the community’s continued support to meet a sustainable, phased fundraising goal. Casa Esperanza must now raise $220,000 in donations from individuals by Dec. 31. This will count toward a total remaining funding need of $467,000 through this fiscal year (ending June 30, 2014).

Other sources of revenue include government reimbursements and private and corporate foundation grants.

The community’s response to the fall appeal included donations of every amount, from both long-time supporters and new donors as well. The $425,000 total donations received included several major gifts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 and a $100,000 gift from past Casa Esperanza supporter Harold Simmons.

“Each and every donation received by Casa Esperanza is part of the lifeline for the sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers, fathers and grandparents who are committing to come in from the streets to rebuild their lives,” Foley said.

Through the change to a 24-hour shelter and program model, Casa Esperanza will have the ability to continue providing 48,000 bed-nights of safety and care to the homeless in a sobriety-based environment. While the organization will no longer be able to serve thousands of people in small ways every year, it will be able to provide potentially better care to those in need, including 144,000 meals to the homeless who reside at Casa Esperanza.

People interested in helping Casa Esperanza achieve its important mission of moving people permanently from homelessness to housing are asked to send donations to Casa Esperanza at P.O. Box 24116, Santa Barbara, CA 93121, or donate online by clicking here.

— Juliana Minsky is a publicist representing Casa Esperanza.

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