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Women and Children's Shelter Expanding

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A grant from the State of California was used to buy two buildings and land in southeast Sacramento.  The Buzz Oates development group arranged for the sale of the property at a discount. 

The grant was for $1 million. The developer negotiated a purchase price of that amount even though the two large buildings and 1.5 acres were appraised at $500,000 more. 

St. John's must raise money to  renovate the buildings. When that's done, the shelter will triple the number of bedrooms to 45, while also increasing the range of services.  The number of bedrooms includes those at the existing shelter, which will be converted to transitional housing.  

Michelle Scott graduated from the shelter's food service training program called Plates last January.  "I am now self sufficient. I can say that I don't receive Food Stamps, which is a big thing to me.  I'm not on government assistance anymore. I fully support my family on my own and its all through the help of St. John's."

Michelle Steeb  runs the shelter and says the expansion couldn't come at a better time, "Family homelessness is on the rapid rise. It's gone up about 15 percent in the last four years. We're the largest shelter in the County. The only ones focused exclusively on this population.  We're full. We're at a100-person capacity and we're turning away about 250 women and children a day."

St. John's has a fundraising goal of $1.5 million for renovations.  Wells Fargo contributed one-quarter of that on Tuesday.

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