Fresno shelter sees increased need for resources during winter months

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Fresno shelter sees increased need for resources during winter months
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Fresno shelter sees increased need for resources during winter months

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Economic Opportunities Commissions' Sanctuary Transitional Shelter has been helping locals in need of housing since 2017.

It serves young adults ages 18 to 24, and children.

Right now, the shelter has 16 beds in use with about ten people on the waiting list.

"A lot of the shelters in the community are very full as well. In the winter you see that increase. So, it's great that the community has opened up warming centers at least to help with some of that." says Misty Gattie-Blanco, Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Support Services Director.

The transitional shelter focuses on helping those it serves get into permanent housing.

People can stay for up to 30 days, with an option to extend that to two months.

In the last five years, the facility has helped 584 locals, including 75 children.

"For a lot of us it's always difficult to see a young person or even a family on the streets," says Gattie-Blanco. "Being able to see them get assistance keeps me going, keeps my team going."

A "Point in Time" count from February of this year showed more than 23,000 experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Fresno and Madera counties.

Phoukhong Vongsaly began living on the streets during the pandemic.

He currently sleeps on the sidewalks in Fresno and says blankets provided by local shelters help keep him warm on cold and rainy nights.

"It's very hard out here because no one really knows how you feel. And what things really mean to you as individuals." says Phoukhong.

Fresno EOC says donations, including warm winter clothing and blankets are always welcomed.

If you'd like to help or learn more about the shelter you can find more information here.