In the meantime, Clark, who was awarded an authority grant to operate the winter shelter in Pomona, is preparing to have the armory ready to welcome 125 homeless beginning the evening of Oct. 15. That’s 25 more than in past years, he said.
Although the Pomona Armory will be available this winter, it is not expected to be available for the 2016-2017 winter, said Benita DeFrank, Pomona’s neighborhood housing service manager.
The additional time will make it possible to develop a plan to replicate the model the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless uses to run its winter shelter, DeFrank said.
The model involves several churches taking turns serving as winter shelter sites two weeks at a time.
Several churches, including Shield of Faith Christian Center, expressed a desire to open their doors but said they could not be ready for the Dec. 1 start of the program.
The church will be ready to serve as a shelter next winter, he said.
“We’re are committed to next year,” Alexander said.
Opening the doors to the homeless is “something churches should accept as a responsibility,” he said. “It’s an appropriate commitment for churches, a moral obligation.”