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 - Vista (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 with children. By the second winter an actual structure was found in which families with children 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 with childern 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 eleventh year of providing emergency winter shelter in Vista. Throughout most of the season we have been operating at maximum capicity - we are the only permanently located facility in North County that keeps families with childern 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.