FRESNO, California (KSEE) – City-sponsored nonprofit, Fresno First Steps Home has been a critical part in implementing Fresno’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.
“It is very true, any individuals that live on the streets of our city is a humanitarian crisis and Fresno First Steps Home made it very clear ten years ago, we’re going to do all that we can to raise awareness and funding to help our local charities to meet that ever-growing need,” said Cary Catalano, the Co-Founder of Fresno First Steps Home.
Two checks were presented on Thursday, totaling $70,000 to two Fresno nonprofits — $62,500 to the Poverello House and $7,500 to Wings Advocacy of Fresno. The money is especially crucial because donations have been down.
“This money is incredibly important for us. We have lost a few donors over the past year. A lot of organizations and individuals decide to put their money towards COVID relief, and we did see a drop in some of our money coming in,” said Maggie Furrow, the Program Manager of Wings Advocacy of Fresno.
“Even though it’s 2021 and we think about COVID being so long ago, those aftereffects and the ripple of the pandemic, we continue to see on our campus every day and so specifically with this funding and to get people off the street into housing,” said Zack Darrah, the CEO of Poverello House.
So far this year, Poverello House’s Hope Outreach Program helped nearly 300 people get off the streets. Since 2016, Wings Advocacy of Fresno helped furnish around 1,800 shelters.
“The fact is, we can’t turn a blind eye to anybody that sleeps on the streets of our community. Everybody deserves a place to sleep, a clean pillow, treatment, and care that every Fresnan deserves,” said Catalano.