Naomi's House gets some temporary relief, looking to City of Fresno for help

Ana Torrea Image
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Naomi's House gets some temporary relief, looking to city for help
Naomi's House is a safe haven for women.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Naomi's House is a safe haven for women.

"When you go looking for shelter, you look for love," said Linda Rhodes, a resident at Naomi's House.

On Tuesday morning, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve several Homeless Service Agreements taking some local shelters and non-profits back to pre-pandemic funding levels. That included Naomi's House, an all-women's shelter run by the Poverello House.

Staff reports show, 11 beds were originally funded but that expanded to 34 post-pandemic.

"Today the county board of supervisors approved full funding for Naomi's House for July and August, on top of the amount that was approved for the agreement," said Zack Darrah, the CEO of Poverello House. "At this point in time, no beds will need to be closed at Naomi's House."

Darrah said he's feeling relieved for now. But the shelter will have to look for outside help to fill the gap in the future.

Deputy CAO Amina Flores-Becker told supervisors she reached out to the City of Fresno and began early talks. But Supervisor Steve Brandau did express some concerns.

"It's crunch time for these folks," said Brandau.

"It doesn't seem like a real great bet on something that we have no security on and it has to go through a lot of government processes down the street."

"There's always challenges with funding in this work," said Darrah. "We're always figuring out the differences in budgets and when contracts end."

Flores-Becker told supervisors she's hopeful that they will be able find a solution by August. But for Janet May, one of the women who live at Naomi's House, the shelter is more than a place to sleep, it's a chance to start over.

"We have some ladies who are pregnant and stuff and been abused and scared," said May. "Naomi's House is making them feel better."

If the City of Fresno, doesn't approve an agreement with the county by August 20th, staff will need to come back to the board with other options.

Action News also reached out to the City of Fresno about trying to help Naomi's House, but city representatives said they aren't able to comment on this.

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