Community rallies to save Senior Safe House

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 - 11:28 pm

Senior Safe House, an emergency shelter for abused and neglected elderly people, will remain open at least through June thanks to a campaign to close a $200,000 funding shortfall, officials said Wednesday.

The Safe House, open since 2009 in the Arden Arcade area and funded almost entirely by private donations, was threatened with imminent closure last month in part because of the death of a major donor. It has been rescued thanks to a campaign that secured the necessary funding from “many, many individual donors,” Sacramento County and private foundations, said Christie Holderegger of Volunteers of America, which runs the shelter.

“As soon as the word got out, people were calling and contacting us and asking what they could do,” Holderegger said. “They were very motivated to help save this.”

The shelter’s future is uncertain after June, she said. Sacramento County’s Adult Protective Services, which refers seniors to the shelter, “most likely” will fund up to 50 percent of the facility’s operating costs in the future, said Holderegger. The rest of its budget will continue to come from private donations.

The Safe House remains one of the few shelters of its kind in the country, offering refuge to physically neglected, financially exploited and homeless seniors. The facility offers short-term shelter, meals, social visits, help with medical and other appointments, and assistance in finding safe and permanent housing. All services are free.

Before the Safe House opened, seniors aided by Adult Protective Services typically received vouchers for rooms in low-income motels or moved into homeless shelters.

Donations for the Safe House may be made via VOA’s website,, or mailed to Volunteers of America, 3434 Marconi Ave., Sacramento, CA 95821.

Call The Bee’s Cynthia Hubert, (916) 321-1082. Follow her on Twitter @Cynthia_Hubert.

Read more articles by Cynthia Hubert

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