Mather Community Campus: A Haven for the Homeless
Hope for homeless people wanting to get off the streets lies just around the corner: The Mather Community Campus, located in Mather Field, is a two-year live-in program that helps the financially destitute get back on their feet and in to permanent housing.
The program first started in 1995 and enrolls both families and single people who don’t have a job or a place to live. The campus sprawls over 31 acres of the former air force base, and it currently houses 300 residents including 100 children. The Mather Community Campus has been recognized by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development for its accomplishments within the Sacramento community.
“It has proven to be a very, very successful program,” said Bruce Wagstaff, the executive director of Sacramento County’s Department of Human Assistance. “Since the campus opened we’ve had 2000 successful graduates. That means not only were the residents able to find housing, but they’ve also left with a job.”
Families and individuals who are enrolled in the program are given temporary, air-conditioned housing, three meals a day, and job training to help them get steady employment. Those who are struggling with addiction also receive therapy. Staff is available for all residents of the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents have to pay for the services they receive, but the fee is very affordable for those being housed.
Once the residents have completed the program, the campus holds a graduation ceremony to help them and their loved ones celebrate their achievements. Both Wagstaff and Council Member Robert McGarvey lauded the program’s ability to bring people closer to one another.“One of the great things about the Mather Community Campus is it’s getting families back together,” McGarvey said. “I want to do everything we can to continue with this and make sure it’s just as successful as it possibly can be.”
The Mather Community Campus will soon be home to four-legged students as well.
The campus plans on holding an open house in the near future to announce the addition of a service dog program to their facility.
“We continue to look for new things we can do with the campus,” Wagstaff said of the upcoming program.
The Mather Community Campus has a wish list of all the items they need to continue their operations. For more information on tours or to find out how to apply, contact the campus at either (916) 228-3107 for single individuals or (916) 455-2194 for families.
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