SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Sweeping up her patio is something Lisa Reyes loves to do.
“We hang out here all the time," she said.
Reyes knows what it’s like not to have a patio or a home.
“I had been with my husband for over 18 years and then he passed away over 10 years ago so that’s when all of this homeless started,” she said.
Reyes has three children and when she first became homeless her youngest was just 4 years old. She stayed in hotels, churches and shelters until she found Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, who helped her get into her own place.
Rev. Dr. Roché Vermaak, who runs Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, an organization that brings shelter, meals and support services to homeless families, says Reyes’ story is all too familiar and can happen to anyone.
“They lost their job, they lost their child care, they are taking care of their children, and they are unemployed and they become homeless,” Dr. Vermaak said.
Family Promise is teaming up with Williams Homes to build a $2.6 million project that will help families experiencing homelessness become housed. The money is coming from grants and donations. Family Promise is also launching a capitol campaign to help pay for the project.
Nathan Keith, who is the director of entitlements for Williams Homes, showed Spectrum News 1 their building plans in Santa Clarita.
“We’re going to have four different units here for transitional housing for families who might be in between,” said Keith, as he pointed to different units in the area.
Transitional housing is where Reyes found herself years ago but now that’s she’s in a stable living environment she says her youngest, who is now 10, is thriving.
Reyes, who currently lives in her home with another family, says that all help each other out.
“We’re a family, we take care of each other’s kids, we go places together, we have dinner together,” she said.
Reyes said the new resource center and housing units will give other women the help and hope that Family Promise once gave her and her family.