Bridge to Home held its 2021 Soup for the Soul fundraiser virtually last weekend to support year-round shelter services and resources for the local homeless population.
“We’re here for hope, help and change,” said Shawn Parr, nationally syndicated radio host. “Each of our clients dreams about what’s possible, and… you have to feel good because you’re going to make that happen.”
Hosted by Parr live at Crossroads Community Church, the event allowed participants to enjoy their custom-curated food boxes that included four soups from local restaurants at home while tuning in to the virtual entertainment.
Between performances, shelter manager Nicole Feast-Williams told the story of a past shelter resident and of her personal experiences when the winter shelter closed in March 2017.
“From that day on, my experience has been a journey that has taught me the importance of listening, problem-solving, understanding trauma and having compassion for others,” Feast-Williams said. “There are good and not so good days, but in all, being there to see a resident accomplish a goal is priceless.”
Bridge to Home Board President Tracey Carpentier began the event by discussing the organization’s progress over the years as it went from a winter emergency shelter to a year-round shelter and its ongoing efforts to build the Santa Clarita Valley’s first permanent homeless shelter.
The site at the Drayton Street location of the previous shelter is ready for construction of the 19,000-square-foot permanent building that is expected to accommodate up to 92 individuals, with up to 32 of those in eight attached single-family apartment-style units.
“Every space in the new facility is thoughtfully designed, including places to meet and engage in case management and workshops, as well as the technology center with access to education, job training and housing resources,” Carpentier said. “The funds raised here tonight will do so much good and help the most vulnerable members of the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Soup for the Soul is Bridge to Home’s largest fundraiser of the year and organizers say it is especially important as the demand for services for the local homeless population continues to see an increase amid the ongoing pandemic, with funds set to help provide services and resources that assist individuals and families in the SCV transition out of homelessness.
“The pandemic has highlighted the value of supportive services, especially for our vulnerable neighbors who are without shelter,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the SCV. “Together, we will continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness. I’m grateful that our Santa Clarita Valley community is so committed to providing help and hope to those most in need.”
“It takes an army of people to put this together, who say, ‘We care, and we want to make a difference right here in our own community,’ and you are doing just that. We just can’t thank you enough,” Parr said of the event’s sponsors and participants.