IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — One of South Bay’s largest homeless service providers, Community Through Hope, suspended services Friday due to a lack of funding. Now, organizers are asking the community for help.
“Community Through Hope is all about providing to the most vulnerable particularly the unhoused,” the non-profit’s executive director, Sebastian Martinez, said to FOX 5. As he explained, the organization offers everything from meals to medicine and showers.
“It sounds small right — a shower, a meal,” Martinez said. “But in the South Bay, they really are lifesaving.”
When brutal temperatures hit the region in July, Community Through Hope opened a cooling center — the first of its kind in the South Bay to help people on the street take refuge from the heat.
“Community Through Hope has been really helpful for us,” unhoused South Bay resident, Venessa Posada, told FOX 5 in July. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would do.”
But after almost five years of serving the community, Martinez says they’ve hit a wall in terms of funding.
“We had to suspend the services that we’re currently providing,” he said. “We’ll still be here at CTH, but unfortunately we spent all of our resources.”
The organization, which is independently funded, has spent more money than ever before to help the hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in the South Bay.
“We had budgeted for these folks right, but what we weren’t planning on was all these folks coming over from San Diego after the camping ordinance was passed,” Martinez said. “It severely impacted our resources.”
They used to be able to provide meals to unhoused residents in the region five days a week, but now, they’re running out of food.
Martinez said the organization is also concerned about the prospect of Chula Vista implementing a similar ban on homeless encampments in the city, which could put even more of a strain on their resources.
“I think about what that effect of that ban could be if CTH isn’t here to meet the need in between,” he said.
However, he remains hopeful the community will step in to help support their mission to provide services to those in need.