VICTORVILLE – Victorville announced Wednesday that they selected 2 nonprofits – Hope the Mission and Symba Center, to provide services for its new Wellness Center.
Mayor Debra Jones says the Wellness Center will increase shelter and provide necessary services for the community’s most vulnerable in order to break the cycle of homelessness.
“Equally important, the Center will help us minimize the negative impacts homelessness can have on residents and businesses and ultimately empower our City to enforce anti-camping laws in accordance with federal statutes,” said Jones.
In Martin v. Boise (2019), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that cities cannot “criminalize” conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless. Cities cannot enforce anti-camping ordinances or Public Nuisance Laws without showing they have adequate shelter beds.
The city says Victorville has the second-highest concentration of homeless persons in San Bernardino County.
When complete, the Wellness Center – a 170-bed interim housing, supportive service, and recuperative care facility, will increase the number of shelter beds in Victorville by 56 percent.
Jones said the city is thrilled to have Hope the Mission and Symba Center bring their skill to the center.
Hope the Mission will serve as the shelter operator of the Wellness Center. Their services will include client intake coordination, hygiene services, laundry, meals, and security. Formerly known as Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, the nonprofit has more than 1,000 beds under its management.
Symba Center will provide wraparound services including recuperative care, medical services, behavioral health services, and job readiness.
Symba Center provides medical services to Victorville’s homeless as well as medical and mental health oversight to local homeless shelters.
The Wellness Center is being constructed primarily through a $28 million Homekey Grant from the state. The center is on city-owned land located at 16902 First St in Victorville. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.