Volunteers of America officials say to date, they’ve received $75,000 in contributions to provide rent-free housing to Gulf Coast hurricane victims at the former Mather Air Force Base.
"But if this goes on six months to a year, we’re going to need additional support from the community."
Local VOA President Leo McFarland says they’ll need $210,000 to keep the program going. And about a month from now, Volunteers of America will be opening their annual winter homeless shelter at Cal Expo.
McFarland says juggling the two programs will be difficult. "We’re very much engaged right now with housing about 35 to 40 families who were displaced because of the hurricane. We don’t expect that to have a negative impact on our service at the winter shelter program but it does create an additional challenge for us as an organization."
One of the biggest challenges will be to keep up the momentum of contributions.
"Well, donation fatigue is a reality but the bottom line is we have to make sure that we can run this program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
Gulf Coast evacuees have been living in the Mather Field apartments for the past two weeks.