By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– Jimmy Waldron knows what it is like to be homeless and hungry. As recently as 10 years ago, he slept at a local truck stop without a roof of his own. Today, Waldron is the Executive Director of High Desert Homeless Services in Victorville, where he can relate to the hundreds of clients the facility serves each week for hot showers, employment services, clothing and more.
“They don’t want to be homeless. They want to get back on their feet,” said Waldron, who dispelled the myth that everyone who ends up homeless has a mental illness or a drug addiction. “They are good people, good families who may just be here due to a loss of income. They use our resource room to find jobs, a place to live, get training and more.”
Former Apple Valley resident Nicole Cerda is living proof of the program’s success. This summer, she found herself in a housing arrangement she couldn’t live with anymore, so she turned to the shelter for help.
“It was a life-changing event. The staff is so friendly and the welcomed me with open arms,” she said, explaining that in the few short weeks she has stayed there she has found two concurrent jobs and is on track for finding an apartment back in Apple Valley soon.
High Desert Homeless Services is one of several local agencies that received funds for the 2017-2018 fiscal year from the Town of Apple Valley’s Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).
Each year, Apple Valley receives funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The purpose is to provide decent, affordable housing, a suitable living environment and economic opportunities for people with low to moderate incomes
While most of the federal funds are used for residential rehabilitation loans, capital improvements, including parks and streets, and job attraction and creation programs, HUD allows municipalities to distribute a percentage towards grants for local social services, which the Town Council does each year.
“The Federal government allows us to use 15% of that funding for local programs and we make sure we use the full amount on projects and agencies that will benefit our residents,” said Mayor Scott Nassif.
“The process to select these nonprofits is highly competitive, and thanks to an evaluation by our Community Development Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and feedback at public hearings, the Town Council is able to designate funds that will help hundreds of Apple Valley residents improve their quality of life,” said Orlando Acevedo, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Housing.
A total of 10 agencies received funding this year. All were on hand for a check presentation ceremony at the August 8 council meeting.
In addition to High Desert Homeless Services, agencies that received funding were:
|Assistance League of Victor Valley||Clothing for school children||$12,500|
|Church for Whosoever||Child literacy center||$4,000|
|Family Assistance Program||Transitional housing||$10,000|
|High Desert Homeless Services||Resources for the homeless||$12,500|
|Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board||Fair housing services||$10,000|
|Lutheran Social Services||Counseling for child abuse victims and their parents/caregivers||$5,000|
|Moses House Ministries/Rose of Sharon||Resources for pregnant or single mothers with kids under 6||$7,500|
|San Bernardino County Library||Adult literacy services||$6,000|
|Victor Valley Community Services Council||Home repairs for seniors||$10,000|
|Victor Valley Domestic Violence||Outreach services/A Better Way shelter||$6,500|
For more information regarding Community Development Block Grant Funds, call (760) 240-7000, x 7921 or visit www.AppleValley.org.