ALWAYS WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY

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John Bunge, Vice President Valley Restart Board, Dale Jones, Hemet Councilman Russ Brown and Hemet City Manager Chris Lopez.

Golden Era Productions once again said “yes,” when approached by The Friends of Valley Restart to offer their services in assisting Valley Restart Shelter. The event was the first annual fundraising classic golf tournament at their lush Soboba Golf course. The event took place on Saturday, September 25th. Funds raised go to Valley Restart Shelter in their ongoing effort to help more families who find themselves on the short end of our economic stick – out of home and job. It is not a sometimes situation – it could happen to most of us anytime without notice. The program is designed to give a family 90 days to get back on their feet and into the mainstream of the community. Hope for the future is one of the most important aspects of overcoming homelessness.

The event was a sell-out, with more than 130 golfers on hand, along with several local politicos and other community representatives on hand. Included among them: Isaiah Vivanco, Tribal Chairman from Soboba Reservation, County Supervisor Chuck Washington’s representative, Sarah Rodriguez, Hemet City Councilman Russ Brown, and Sharon Durban from the San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce representing the City of San Jacinto.

Linda Rogers, Executive Director of Valley Restart for the past 18 years, retired last month and was honored at the event with certificates of recognition for her long-time dedication to Valley Restart and its work. Over that period, she has helped raise thousands of families and individuals out of homelessness and poverty back into successful lives.

During the fiscal year of July 2019 – June 2020, the Shelter assisted 219 people find homes; 38 of them were families consisting of 82 children and 47 parents. Abodes for 44 single males and 46 single males were also helped off the streets into homes.

Always ready to pitch in were the faith-based and service groups plus families with a passion for cooking and serving others. More than 38,000 meals were served at the Shelter during the past period.

The Homeless Navigation and Outreach team reached out to 150 homeless souls who were roaming the valley’s streets, engaging 113 of them with services, thus ensuring permanent placement for more than an additional 50. Third District County Supervisor Washington stated that Valley Restart had been a viable and integral part of the San Jacinto Valley for a long time, having assisted individuals, as well as families, achieve independence and economic stability. Although not specifically pointed out, it is well understood that the COVID syndrome threw a monkey wrench into all plans to progress during a period of time due to the economic impact brought about by the virus.

While others might be distracted by local and international struggles due to the dread pandemic, Brian Hawkins, San Jacinto City Councilman was forth worth in his comment that “Valley Restart is the only place willing to give shelter to a problem, most people look the other way.”

Lt. Eric Dickson of the Hemet Police Department, always on hand when help is needed, opined that “…over the last 20 years…it is impossible to put a price tag on the value they provide..” referring specifically to Valley Restart Shelter.

Restart’s newly appointed director, succeeding Linda Rogers, Javier Lopez, added, “I am extremely humbled and excited to be joining an organization with a long history of serving homeless families in Hemet and surrounding communities.” Javier is not a newcomer when it comes to assailing the homeless situation. He previously directed Community Relations and Engagement at the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition in the City of Indio, California, with a long and successful background with non-profit organizations.

If you might want to be a resident (or newcomer) in our area and would like to contribute financially or otherwise support the work of Valley Restart, you will be welcomed with open arms. You can check in online at valleyrestart.info. More than 77 sponsors for this event, including businessmen and women who set up on the tees, all of whom were volunteering everything that was accomplished during the day.

Valley Restart and Soboba Golf Course wish to extend thanks to the event committee with warmth and sincere appreciation:

Ted DeBolt – Board President

John Bunge – Board Vice-President

Pastor Bill Wolfson – Board Member

Winston Greene – Board Member

Rick Brown – Advisory Board

Linda Rogers – Executive Director Retired

Javier Lopez – Executive Director

Connie DeBolt – Event co-Chair

Muriel Dufresne – Golden Era Productions – Event Co-Chair

Amazing just how many unsung heroes there are in the San Jacinto Valley. It makes you wonder why so many “mouths” do nothing for the homeless other than complain that they exist.

Just sayin’ rustystrait@gmail.com

Rusty Strait Senior Reporter

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle

1 COMMENT

  1. Most of the homeless want to stay homeless because they are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some are the early parolees that our own governor has released because the prison system is broken. Which are sent to areas that have a homeless shelter (Travelodge, which the outside is flitty and full of trash and what an embarrassment) or resources. The Veterans, Seniors and Disabled are the one’s that should never be homeless that should be priority number one.

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