The Vista City Council, recognizing the growing and complex problem of homelessness,
requested help to begin exploring ways to find community resources to address the
issue. A collaborative group of community representatives responded and began the
process of working with the City to address the dilemma.
Operation HOPE (Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement)evolved out of these early
meetings in 2003. In its first year of existence, hotel/motel vouchers were issued
as the primary assistance available to homeless families. By the second winter an
actual structure was found in which families were given shelter. It was commissioned
by the Vista City Council to provide emergency winter shelter to families living
in Vista and the surrounding area. In 2004, the organization moved to the site it
occupied for the last 8 years and continued providing these services from December
through March. In the years since it began, programs and processes have evolved to
help resident families regain confidence and independence.
The shelter is maintained as a collaborative effort of the Cities of Vista and San
Marcos, other government agencies, social service agencies, the faith community,
organizations, and individual volunteers. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
(EIN 57-1214920) and an active member of the Alliance for Regional Solutions.
The current shelter season is our tenth year of providing emergency winter shelter
in Vista. Construction and rain delayed the opening of the shelter a couple of weeks
and our families entered on January 24, 2013. Throughout most of the season we have
been operating at capicity - we are the only permanently located facility in North
County that keeps families together. Families represent an increasing sector of the
homeless population but remain of even greater concern due to the recent state of
our economy, nationwide.