PALMDALE – South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) has moved to a bigger, more modern and more convenient location.
“It’s about three times as large as the space we had at the old building,” said SAVES Coordinator Patricia Morales.
“We started out 17 years ago with two programs and we now run nine programs,” said SAVES Assistant Jerry Smith. “So the city brought us into a building that would accommodate our needs.”
SAVES, a City of Palmdale program that offers assistance to individuals and families who are experiencing a temporary emergency situation, is now located at 1002 E. Avenue Q-12 in Palmdale – the site of the former senior center.
“The bus route goes right in front of the building, making us more accessible to the community that we serve,” said Morales. “We have two senior buildings right across the street where a lot of residents are clients; and we are surrounded by apartment complexes, where a lot of our clients come from.”
In addition to accessibility, SAVES clients can expect many more benefits from the new location, including:
A new client waiting room where clients can read magazines and watch television while waiting for services.
- A larger and more accessible parking area.
- Indoor restrooms. (At the old facility, clients had to go outside the building to use a restroom that was shared by several businesses.)
- SAVES Boutique. The operation will now have its very own onsite clothing store, offering free clothing and small home appliances to clients. SAVES Boutique opens in February.
The new location will also allow staff to operate more efficiently, thereby enabling them to more effectively serve clients, says Morales. Benefits to SAVES staff include:
- A new walk-in freezer for storing and preserving more food donations.
A much larger space to sort, assemble and store food donations.
- A huge kitchen for preparing food packages for clients.
- A separate room for safely storing client files. “We get a lot of personal, sensitive information from our clients, and we now have a specific room that can be locked, where we keep all our client files,” says Morales.
- A new break room with storage lockers for employees and volunteers.
The new location also includes two offices, which will be reserved for external nonprofit organizations that offer services complementary to SAVES.
Morales says SAVES is in talks with the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) with the hopes of getting an outreach coordinator in one of the offices so that clients can apply for food stamps at SAVES, rather than going to Lancaster.
“We’re working with a lot of other primarily-based Lancaster organizations for them to come and have services here in our spaces, so that we can service our clients and the community a whole lot better,” says Morales. “Ultimately, we want to be able to bring more services to the community.”
The community is also becoming more aware of the services that SAVES offers, thanks to the new location. Morales says, within a day of the move, SAVES received more than a dozen walk-ins from potential clients who previously had no idea that such a service existed in Palmdale.
“About 15 people just walked in to see what we were all about and found that they wanted services from us,” Morales said. “So we’re going to expect that we will see a lot of new walk-in traffic.”
The new traffic means more volunteers will be needed. Currently the organization has two paid staff workers and 17 volunteers. They are looking for more volunteers who are interested in serving the community.
Palmdale senior, Altheia Hogue, answered the call to volunteer Wednesday. Hogue, who is retired from the Department of Motor Vehicles, volunteered to man the new waiting room.
“I’ve been coming to this building since it was the senior center,” said Hogue. “I like to give back, and they [SAVES] have helped me over the years, so I wanted to find something that I could do to assist them.”
You too can make a difference by offering your assistance to an organization that helps so many Palmdale families in need. To make a donation, to sign up to volunteer or to obtain more information about the City of Palmdale SAVES program, call 661-267-5191 or visit their website.