SIMI VALLEY : Churches to Offer Shelter to Homeless

This winter will not be as cold as expected for homeless residents in Simi Valley.

Initially concerned about providing enough space to shelter homeless men and women, the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley said that in recent weeks, several local churches have responded to an appeal by the center and offered their facilities.

"Along with the churches providing meal sites each night and the services provided at the Samaritan Center year-round, our goal is to provide the homeless with a warm and dry place to sleep each night from now until March 31," said Diane Hooley, the center's executive director.

Shelter will be provided at a different church each night of the week.

In conjunction with the city, local agencies, churches and nonprofit groups, the Samaritan Center offers services including food, shelter, basic health care, job counseling, telephone use and mail facilities.

This year, volunteers have provided more than 7,000 hours of service to 360 clients, Hooley said.

The center has also launched a campaign to recruit 500 good Samaritans in Simi Valley. According to Hooley, more than 200 volunteers have responded.

For more information on the Samaritan Center or shelter locations, call (805) 579-9166.

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