Overview of Valley Restart Shelter
Valley Restart has been in the Valley for a long time. With the current economic conditions, their mission becomes even more important. As more first time homeless families emerge, Valley Restart Shelter’s unique way of addressing the problem helps to breed self-sufficiency.
These are our words, not the organization’s. This is in an effort to maintain transparency and avoid bias.
Valley Restart has a ton of community partners. Notably, there is an interfaith council of religious institituions and non-profit affiliated institutions that support the Valley Restart Mission full-time.
Their ability to foster self-sufficiency and help people overcome temporary economic difficulties brings the theologically based organizations back year after year. It’s significant to see such a diverse group of religious groups coming together on the same project. The connectivity and integration is impressive.
Linda Rogers, the Executive Director is a gracious but hard nosed leader for the organization and her stubborness has helped to keep Valley Restart continually operating since 1989. Ms. Rogers has been at the helm since 2003
She and the staff is serious about the admittance protocols. They don’t allow drug users and they are very strict on the program deadlines and turnover. Generally this is a short term housing and job training program that consistently places people into better conditions upon completing the program.
It’s based upon doing whatever it takes to have succcess on the participant’s behalf. It might seem like a last ditch effort to survive, whether it be for a night or for 90 days, the program is a very integrated and supportive group that provides housing and food for those who are in the program.
Valley Restart isn’t afraid of booting participants from the program. There is a low tolerance for abusing the rules. This has led to a fantastic track record with low recidivism rates. Many of the people who are in the shelters are first time homeless; some are veterans; some are families. A surprisingly high rate of the clients that come through the program end up moving onto better living conditions.
Per their website:
· VRS Sheltered 266 people; 53 families, 132 of which were children
· 74% of participants were families
· 54% were homeless for the first time
· 98% left VRS for better housing
· 51,251 meals were served a total of 602 people were served just meals outside of the housing program
· The average shelter stay is 54 days
One young woman had struggled with substance use and had experienced domestic violence. She came to the shelter, was reunited with her child, and was able to get a job and move to independent living. She continues her success to this day.
For a growing problem in California, this organization is a testament that a hand up is always better than a handout. Their specific rules and close oversight as well as the generous volunteers and donations allows Valley Restart to reimagine the way to combat homelessness with results that are uncommonly good.
You can find them on the web at