By Jennifer McGraw

VACAVILLE (CBS13) – A Solano County homeless shelter is asking for an emergency taxpayer bailout to stay in business.

"It takes quite a few families and children out of their cars and off at the street," said Jolyn McMillian, the shelter’s executive director.

For 27 years, Opportunity House has provided homeless men, women, and children in Vacaville a safe place to sleep.

"I'm not sure where I would go," said Tamara Parsons who has lived with her two children at the shelter since March. "If we lost this place my kids would not have a home to go to every night.”

But now financial problems could force the shelter to close.

The City of Vacaville has already invested more than $1.5 million to purchase and fix up the property

Shelter officials are asking for another $125,000 in taxpayer money to keep doors open.

"It is at risk. As I say, the community has really bailed us out in the last few, now we are asking the city to step up," said John Thompson, the president of the board of directors.

The shelter said it's done what it can to cut costs.

"Their hours have been drastically cut," McMillian said for staff that employ the thrift store and the shelter.

It blames the current deficit on lack of sales at the thrift store it operates, along with reduced grants and donations.

"Everything that sold at the thrift store camr straight back into the house," she said.

The clean and sober facility says it's not eligible for government funding either.

"We had to say no to the HUD funding, which requires a housing first model that would not allow us to test for drugs or alcohol," McMillian said.

Although the facility has a 60-person capacity, managers can only afford to operate a third of the beds, and the shelter has a waiting list.

"Every single day we are turning away women and children from the shelter because we cannot fund a fully staffed operation here at this point," she said.

Now they fear a lack of funding could force them to close their doors permanently and leave all those beds empty.

City council will approve the emergency loan at its meeting Tuesday night, and the loan will be forgiven if the shelter stays open another 55 years.


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