On March 1, a tour was scheduled through the Homelessness Demystified Buffet of Educational Experiences, of a facility to help homeless, unaccompanied women in Santa Ana called WISEPlace (Women, Inspired, Supported, Empowered). Eliz Hendershot, Development Manager and Demona Barlow, Program Manager took us around the facility. This huge building on Broadway in Santa Ana was built for the YWCA in 1950. In 1987, a hotel for women was built when a county supervisor on a tour saw the need for a place for women to be housed. In 1999, WISEPlace was born when the agency disassociated itself from the YWCA.
30 unaccompanied women are presently housed in the rooms on the third floor. At WISEplace, these women must find a job within the first 30 days and are supported in this endeavor. Financial skills such as clearing their credit, creating a budget, and saving for the future are also taught. Depending on their needs, women stay for 3 – 6 months and transition to their own apartment after that time.
For the future, WISEPlace wants to expand this Santa Ana site to create 30 small apartments offering permanent supportive housing. This ambitious project is Embrace Capital Campaign and is chaired by Eileen Padberg and Loretta Sanchez. Five million dollars is needing to be raised with ground-breaking starting in early 2019 to mid 2020.
If you’d like to visit, here’s information about the final WISEPlace experience that is scheduled as part of the Buffet:
Virginia is a member of the Irvine for Everyone Advisory Team. Check out our Homelessness Demystified: Buffet of Educational Experiences, underway from Feb.2 – May 4, 2019.