June 15, 2021: One year ago, PACEM began supervising and staffing the stay of individuals experiencing homelessness at a nearby hotel (La Quinta Inn and Suites). We continued to offer those services until May 1 of this year when we shifted to a brand new project called Premier Circle (the former Red Carpet Inn). Over the next five days, we checked in nearly 40 homeless guests from La Quinta.
Premier Circle is a unique community partnership with multiple non-profits (PHA, TJACH, CACF, and VSH). The site will eventually be the home of low-income housing but the start of construction is at least two years away. In the meantime, PACEM will oversee the stay of medically vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness.
Launching PC required us to make significant changes. Almost overnight, we transformed from a seasonal evening shelter to needing staff 24/7. In between the end of our church based congregate shelter season (March 26, 2021) and the advent of Premier Circle (May 1, 2021) we added five new staff (including three full time) to our team. We are still hiring (two more join this week) as we adequately address a project that will continue to grow in size through Fall 2021.
Premier Circle is a type of shelter that PACEM is not used to providing in our 17 years. To access the site a guest must qualify according to guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control. This has translated to an overwhelmingly senior population at the Circle site: 75% of our guests are over the age of 50 with 35% 62 or older!
As has been the case for the entirety of the pandemic, PACEM is adapting to meet this need. We have increased our case management capacity and are identifying sources of ADA support to make the individual rooms friendlier to our older guests.
We could go on and on about this exciting project. Instead, please take a look at this slideshow for more info on our work at Premier Circle. If you have any follow up questions please reach out here. As always, thank you for your support!