Construction of the first phase of a YWCA shelter for homeless women is expected to begin in two weeks even though the agency has fallen short of raising the $1-million cost of the facility, YWCA Executive Director Mary Douglas said.
A yearlong fund drive raised $650,000, Douglas said Wednesday, and the YWCA will continue efforts to raise the remaining $350,000 to complete the 40-bed hotel addition. The project has been assured a construction loan if needed, Douglas said. The YWCA board is expected to approve the start of construction at a Monday meeting.
The three phases of the project are planned to be completed by December, giving Santa Ana's homeless women shelter from the cold and rain next winter in a 20-room hotel atop the YWCA gymnasium at Broadway and Sycamore Street.
The home will also serve as a way to get some of the county's 3,000 homeless women back into the mainstream by offering support services, including job and health counseling.
"The main focus will be to transition women, get them back into positions where they're responsible for themselves financially and will have jobs to support themselves," Douglas said.
Women will be allowed to stay up to 30 days at the facility, which is expected to help about 480 homeless women per year. The jobs program, already in operation at the YWCA, will continue to be funded by federal grants. Additional staffing for the hotel will be funded through the United Way, membership dues and donations.