Friday, October 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

New Opportunity House opens doors to Vacaville’s homeless

opportunity_new1

James Tumulak, operations coordinator at the Opportunity House homeless shelter, shows off the shelter's new 9,800-square-foot facility in Vacaville. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | November 22, 2012 |

VACAVILLE — Thanks to a lot of perseverance and an overwhelming amount of support from the community, the new, larger Opportunity House homeless shelter has opened its doors.

“It’s cool to see it come from a thought to become a building,” said James Tumulak, the shelter’s operations director.

Building the new Opportunity House homeless shelter was a four-year effort complicated by the loss of redevelopment funding and saved by a groundswell of community support.

It replaces the 2,400-square-foot Catherine Street shelter that had 24 beds with the new 9,800-square-foot, two-story building capable of housing up to 60 beds.

The shelter’s residents moved in three weeks ago. Work is still being done on the stairs leading to the shelter’s second floor, which has kept them from using the upper floor. Once that work is finished, the shelter will have all of the room needed to offer the community’s homeless a place to stay and a host of programs to get them back on their feet.

The new facility includes a commercial-grade kitchen, three computers to allow residents to do job searches and print resumes, rooms to hold classes in, a resources room and a children’s loft for supervised activities for the children of homeless families.

“By mid-May, it should be fully functional,” Opportunity House Director Colleen Erdes said.

There are group sessions for residents every morning to get them prepared for a day of job hunting and searching for housing. In the evening, they have access to programs on life skills, anger management, nutrition and parenting.

The staff is particularly proud of the shelter’s children’s loft as well as a playground, which the Rotary Club helped build. The shelter will offer part-time day care to allow its adult residents more time in the day to find employment. The Leaven is expected to start after-school tutoring at the shelter next year.

There are plans to allow neighborhood children access to the playground as part of the shelter’s effort to be a part of the community and to help integrate shelter children with the neighborhood.

“Seventy percent of homeless (adults) had been in a shelter as a child. We are now offering programs for kids in order to break that chain,” Erdes said. “We are one of the few shelters in the country who are offering programming for children.”

There are plans for Kaiser Permanente to offer a clinic at the shelter once a week, which will be open not only to shelter occupants, but to the neighborhood as well.

Erdes said she and the staff are pleasantly surprised at the support the shelter has gotten from the immediate neighborhood.

“Those neighbors have been phenomenal and embraced us in ways which we did not expect,” Erdes said of support, which included help cleaning up tagging that happened recently.

Erdes said she is particularly proud of the massive amount of community support the project has gotten, with hundreds of volunteers who pitched in to help build and equip the shelter from organizations such as The Father’s House, Kaiser Permanente and Recology.

“We are very proud to be in Vacaville. This is Vacaville’s Opportunity House,” Erdes said.

Erdes said so much still needs to be done to help the community’s homeless. She pointed out last month’s Operation Homeless Connect had 193 homeless people show up for help and 11 of them were older than 55.

“That means we need programming directed to seniors in the community and we intend to do that,” Erdes said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ finds a home on stage

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
For sale: Solano home with Nike missile bunkers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Salvation Army debuts giant kettle for holidays campaign

By Robinson Kuntz | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

New survey details vast scope of teen dating abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Boosters seek to keep Bay Bridge light display

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

$50,000 reward to find killer of Anaheim girl, 9

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Video shows bikers taunting California officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

California man guilty in wife’s stabbing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Brown opens up spending in campaign’s final month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Driver attacked after ice cream truck kills boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Suspect in girl’s 1984 killing was police employee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

PTSD argued in case of Marine jailed in Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Paintings in national parks spark probe, furor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Prisoner in Afghanistan to be tried in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US, SKorea agree to delay wartime control transfer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US officials: Iraqi army regrouping slowly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lawmakers seek to end benefits to former Nazis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

For teen with passport, Syria trip can be seamless

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Border deaths drop to 15-year low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

Ex-Mountie hero of shooting at Canada’s Parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NYC mayor: Don’t be alarmed by doctor’s Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 4 Comments

 
Cremation fears leave empty Ebola beds in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

Planning Commission not listening to the people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 14 Comments

 
Not sure I trust government on Ebola

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Is America prepared for Ebola or is threat overhyped?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Oct. 24-30, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘John Wick’ delivers non-stop action

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Entertainment calendar Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Burns’ series gives PBS a ratings milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

.

Sports

 
At 1-all, World Series moves to quirky Giants park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Giants’ Hudson to face Royals’ Guthrie in Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
College notebook: Cordes chosen to try out for USA national team

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Homecoming still on but no game for VCS

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Compton among PGA leaders at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arizona men near-unanimous pick by media to win Pac-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders may lose Woodley to biceps injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
The Write Way: KC coach’s lineup cards are artful

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Prep football capsules: Week 8

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Manning, Sanders lead Broncos past Chargers, 35-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Honda Fit becomes even more intriguing small car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Letting your car find a spot and park itself

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2, 1 Comment | Gallery

A blue Christmas for Amazon?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9