“We can end family homelessness.”
This is the work of Pajaro Valley Shelter Services (PVSS), day in and day out. Their dedicated staff of ten helps women, children, and families find safe and stable housing and helps them overcome barriers and develop the necessary skills to reach self-sufficiency.
Jessica’s story is similar to those of many of the shelter’s clients. Though she was and is employed, she suffered domestic violence at the hands of her partner. She escaped the situation, but then faced months of homelessness with her two children. Fortunately, she found PVSS, which provided temporary housing while also providing skills and strategies to help Jessica find long-term shelter and economic stability for her and her children.
The Watsonville shelter can currently house 28 eight women and children, who are usually referred by other social service agencies, schools, and civic or religious organizations.
One of Second Harvest’s AmeriCorps Volunteers served at PVSS and remarked, “They are not just a shelter because they go above and beyond to help families in need by investing in their lives. They are assigned a case manager who helps them set goals and find resources, such as child care, employment, and stable housing. I witnessed families leave the program with real security and stability.”
“[PVSS goes] above and beyond to help families in need by investing in their lives.”
Once a week, the manager comes to Second Harvest to find meal ingredients for the shelter’s menu. The staples and produce she takes back to PVSS not only nourishes the people living at the shelter, but also helps the women gain crucial life skills. They learn to cook healthy meals with fresh ingredients and develop meal plans.
With fully three quarters of clients transitioning to stable housing upon leaving the program, we think it won’t be long before Pajaro Valley Shelter Services becomes the national model program they aspire to be.