CARLSBAD — The fundraising arm of La Posada de Guadalupe men’s shelter is closing and will transfer its assets to Operation Hope North County, according to the two organizations.
Rapid Response Housing Solutions, founded in 1990 under the name Friends of La Posada, which first organized to build Carlsbad’s only homeless shelter. The shelter is operated by Catholic Charities.
Lisa Palutis, a board member of Rapid Response Housing Solutions, said the nonprofit would officially dissolve on June 1 after the board made the decision in March. The nonprofit will gift a $45,000 check to Operation Hope at a ceremony from 6-8 p.m. on June 1 at Operation Hope’s campus, 859 E. Vista Way.
She said it became difficult to raise funds amid the cluttered landscape in San Diego County’s nonprofit world. Regardless, she and Jimmy Figueroa, the executive director of Operation Hope, said the money will be put to good use.
“We had an inflection point and a unique opportunity come together all at once,” Palutis said. “We thought, ‘How could we make the greatest impact with the funds we have?’ We thought Jimmy and his team … they are really focused on prevention. We started to pivot on prevention so the two missions really aligned.”
Operation HOPE, meanwhile, is an emergency bridge-to-housing shelter program serving families with children and single women who are experiencing homelessness, Figueroa said.
The two organizations have been partnering together for several years, and when Rapid Response Housing Solutions decided to dissolve, Operation Hope provided a unique opportunity to preserve a legacy through a mission-aligned partnership.
Figueroa said Operation Hope has a 12-room, 45-bed facility, houses dozens of people at a time, and uses its funds to help get the families back on their feet. Figueroa said the nonprofit also focuses on homeless prevention but struggle financially as a “high-barrier” facility.
The “high barrier” designation outlines requirements for clients, such as drug testing. Figueroa said their requirements often leave them out of potential government grants. Most shelters are low barrier and incorporate a Housing First model.
Regardless, Figueroa said Operation Hope was founded as a winter shelter in Vista and, in 2016, pivoted to an everyday facility to leverage its new campus at an old Vista Clinic site.
“When it comes to nonprofits and the work we do, a lot of it is based on relationships and proximity,” Figueroa said, noting he hopes some of Rapid Response’s board migrates to Operation Hope. “Operation Hope, we’re one of the smaller nonprofits and there is a lot of work taking place to remain sustainable. It’s going to be a huge impact for us.”
Palutis said the decision to gift $45,000 came down to how Rapid Response Housing Solutions could make the most significant impact. She said the funds are unrestricted, meaning Operation Hope can use them for any program or costs they feel needs attention.
As for transferring its assets to Operation Hope, the two organizations previously partnered to launch a homeless prevention program called The Stability Fund to support families in crisis with emergency financial needs.
“When the Board of Directors of Rapid Response Housing Solutions (RRHS) made the difficult decision to dissolve, we intentionally grounded the resolution on our values of personal integrity, service orientation, and organizational mission,” Lela Panagides, board president of Rapid Response Housing Solutions, said in a statement. “We feel fortunate to partner with Operation HOPE — North County which offers an exciting opportunity to preserve our legacy of 33 years of service and expand our homelessness prevention programs to many more families in North County San Diego.”