History of Valley Restart
Valley Restart Shelter (VRS) is located in Hemet, California. It grew out of a grass roots effort by community and spiritual leaders to address the issues of homelessness in the area. Churches would take turns providing shelter and food to local persons in need. After a while it became clear the problem was an ongoing one and Valley Restart was incorporated in 1989 as a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. Subsequently, in 1995, the property on which the shelter currently stands was purchased.
Built in 1941 and originally a bunkhouse for farm workers, and then the local YMCA, the shelter facility has two dorms which can house five single females and five single males. In addition there are ten (10) family rooms. There is a commercial kitchen, a multipurpose room, bathrooms and storage areas.
The Shelter Program
Many emergency shelters are night time only shelters, which mean people come to the shelter later in the day, spend the night, and leave in the morning. Valley Restart is NOT a night time only shelter.
VRS has developed a successful program to help those that want help to get back on their feet and restart their lives. The maximum length of stay is 90 days. In those 90 days people are offered intensive case management and connections to local resources. VRS partners with many local agencies to help every person access what they might need. VRS provides shelter, 3 meals a day, laundry facilities, a savings program, case management, and tutoring. The percentage of persons who leave the shelter to more stable housing averages from 80-90%.
Feeding and Helping the Community
VRS also has a long standing community evening meal program. Almost every night VRS offers a hot meal to our community in need. Prepared in the commercial kitchen by local community groups we hope by offering the meal we help people avoid choosing between feeding their families and paying their rent or other essential bills. Homeless persons needing to take showers may do so before dinner.
When funding is available VRS can assist persons who have experienced a financial crisis and are facing eviction with occasional assistance with one months’ worth of rent, either to prevent eviction or as first month’s rent if moving. These funds are provided on a grant funding basis, and the amount of funding varies from year to year.
What VRS does not do…
VRS does not charge any fees, we do not discriminate by age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race or ethnicity. VRS does not allow anyone staying here to panhandle or otherwise solicit the public for funds. We do not go door to door at any time asking for funds. VRS does not take persons on parole, registered sex offenders or persons with a violent criminal history. We do drug test at admission and randomly thereafter.
How we are funded
VRS has various sources of funding, but primarily is funding by the community. We depend on our neighbors and community partners to help us continue to help our community. We have electronic recycling on site and have other fundraising events throughout the year. (See our Events Page for upcoming events) We also receive some grant funds from The County of Riverside Department of Social Services and Economic Development agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Volunteers: The legs we stand on!!!
We have an amazing group of volunteers. There are about 40 community churches and service groups that devote their time, resources and energy to provide meals and other services to the people using VRS services. They fix and serve meals, help make repairs, help maintain the property, offer spiritual guidance, donate food, clothing, furniture, and money. Mostly they open their huge hearts and help us provide for our community.
VRS has received a small HUD grant to provide short term rental assistance to eight families who are homeless. The grant will include rental assistance and case management so that the family can, in a short period of time, assume the rental responsibilities and continue to remain housed.
How do people get help from Valley Restart?
Anyone interested in any of the programs Valley Restart has available is encouraged to come to our office Monday –Friday, from 9 am – 12 pm except holidays. At the office, we can explain what programs we have available at the time, and how to apply for them. ALL of our programs require a California Photo ID for ALL adults so bring them with you! General information can be obtained by calling the office Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. We normally have a waiting list for all housing programs.