Volunteers of America, Sacramento Steps Forward and Sacramento’s faith community team up to offer Winter Sanctuary beginning Nov. 19

(Sacramento, Calif.) – For the third year running, Volunteers of America, Sacramento Steps Forward and the interfaith community are working together to provide emergency shelter to the local homeless community.

Beginning November 19, 2012, the collaborative Winter Sanctuary program will again offer men and women in need safe and warm  night time shelter in the dining halls, community rooms and gyms of faith-based centers throughout Greater Sacramento. Since Winter Sanctuary’s inception, it has been embraced by the community, shown both in the number of active volunteers, and the amount of donations.

Ben Burton, Executive Director of Sacramento Steps Forward, said he is pleased that there are enough funds to cover this season's Winter Sanctuary program. “The community’s financial support is still needed so we can get a head start on next year.  We will also begin to plan and develop a fund for year round emergency shelter for families.”

As in previous years, volunteers from approximately 26 host congregations will provide a warm bed, hot meals and fellowship to the approximately 100 men and women who rely on Winter Sanctuary during the coldest months. Last year the program served more than 500 individuals.

“Winter Sanctuary serves a vital need in our community,” states Leo McFarland, President and CEO of Volunteers of America. “The vulnerable homeless men and women of Sacramento have few options for safety and comfort during the cold, wet months ahead. Winter Sanctuary is a prime example of organizations working with the community to find creative solutions.”

Those interested in making a contribution toward the Winter Sanctuary program may do so online at sacramentostepsforward.org.

About Volunteers of America
Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada office of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region, operating more than 40 programs in eight categories: homeless services; homeless shelters; substance abuse treatment and recovery services; senior services; youth services; transitional housing; permanent supportive housing; and low income housing. In fact, Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to nearly 1,500 men, women and children every night in the Greater Sacramento area.     

Nationally, Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 by Ballington and Maud Booth with the purpose of helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through thousands of human-service programs, Volunteers of America helps nearly 2 million people annually in more than 400 communities.

About Sacramento Steps Forward
Sacramento Steps Forward, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was launched in 2009 as new momentum gathered to refocus efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness in the greater Sacramento area. The agency is responsible for the planning and community work required by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to receive homeless funding in Sacramento. Call 916-577-9770 or visit sacramentostepsforward.org for more information.