ESCONDIDO — Interfaith Community Services is preparing to complete its renovation of a former motel and open a new recuperative care center and temporary housing facility in its place.
The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Escondido, purchased America’s Best Value Inn & Suites at 555 N. Centre City Parkway in September 2020 with plans to turn it into a place of healing and restoration for homeless individuals.
According to CEO Greg Anglea, the renovations are expected to be completed this fall.
“The renovations will create the recuperative care center, where we have people coming out of hospitals who need both housing and medical or mental health support,” Anglea said. “We address those things while getting them into housing, so we need to make some pretty significant renovations to support that.”
In the meantime, Anglea said that they are operating in graduate lodging in the front part of the building, which will be renovated at a later time. There are 21 homeless individuals on site as of Monday.
Anglea estimated that the $11 million project will still need another $3 million to complete. The project was started with a $6 million grant from the county, with the rest being funded mainly by private donations.
“There are not enough places for people to go who are experiencing homelessness and looking for help,” Anglea said. “I think a lot of times people don’t understand — they may think, well, you know, that person is choosing to be homeless, they just don’t want to go into a shelter or they don’t want help. And what I think a lot of people don’t understand is that often that help is not there.”
The facility will provide 33 graduate/temporary rooms for people who have completed a shelter stay or a treatment program or recuperative care and are still seeking permanent housing of their own.
The center also will have 54 beds for recuperative care, for homeless individuals who are discharged out of hospitals and don’t have homes in which to recover in. Interfaith will provide them with a space to heal and then work to get them into housing of their own.
This will replace a 32-bed program at the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center in Escondido, which Interfaith has operated since 2015.
“This is a really broad resource to help people in our local community to have that place to identify what their long-term plan is and then to help them get there,” Anglea said. “The value of a place and the healing nature of a quiet place of their own is really important.”
Supporters of Interfaith Community Services can see the project’s progress and hear about an ongoing fundraiser during a virtual tour on Thursday, March 25.