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Happy to Be Home

Grace Harbor, formerly the Salvation Army homeless shelters, has reopened for the winter and the community is raising money to cover costs.

Just as winter's wet weather descends on the Pajaro Valley, there are 68 additional beds for men and women in need.

Grace Harbor opened last week, about three months after the Salvation Army shelters were closed. Pajaro Rescue Mission/Teen Challenge is now operating the 40-bed men's shelter and 28-bed women's facility.

Noel Barajas, who has been staying at the Pajaro Rescue Mission in Pajaro for about a year, moved to Grace Harbor and will help administer programs there.

"They asked me and I feel the Lord wanted me to," said Barajas, who aspires to be a missionary someday. "It will hopefully put me into my track of doing what I want to do."

Barajas and other men staying at Grace Harbor were jovial following a ribbon cutting at the shelters Thursday. They played catch football on Union Street, in front of the shelter, and cracked jokes.

See more photos from the ribbon-cutting event here on Watsonville Patch's Facebook Page.

The facilities closed in August when the Salvation Army ran into financial difficulties. The Salvation Army continues to provide some services at its office, which is adjacent to the men's shelter on Union Street.

Mike Bordon, of Teen Challenge Monterey Bay and the Pajaro Rescue Mission, said the community had really stepped forward to reopen the shelters.

"We have enough right now to get started," Bordon said, adding that "we have a long ways to go."

, and county Supervisor Greg Caput plans to make Christmas gift to the shelter of $8,250 on Dec. 25, according to Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano, who is on the board of the Pajaro Rescue Mission.

It will cost more than $100,000 to keep Grace Harbor open into April.

"I know the community is up for the challenge," Bordon said. "We've seen that already."

Kris Potter November 21, 2012 at 08:14 AM
One year then the Army will be back in control! This will be great! Love the Salvation Army. I heard they are providing meals for all the shelter guests and feeding the community too!

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