PALMDALE – City officials joined staff and volunteers in cutting the ribbon to celebrate the grand opening of South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) at its new location. The organization, which offers temporary emergency services to families in need, moved into a City-owned facility on Jan. 3, and held its official opening celebration Thursday.
The Palmdale Chamber of Commerce hosted the free mixer to celebrate the move and spotlight SAVES expanded services.
“What you see today is the culmination of an amazing foundation from those who dreamed of SAVES, those who created it, those who started it to those who nurtured it along the way,” said Community Supervisor Trish Jones.
“I talk about the SAVES Program quite often when I’m in Sacramento because it’s different than what most cities do,” said Assemblyman Steve Knight. “It helps people get to a better place, instead of just sheltering them, just giving them a meal and saying ‘good luck…’ there is so much more to what SAVES does.”
The new facility, located at 1002 E. Avenue Q-12 in Palmdale, offers three times the space of the old location and the building boasts a rich history in the City of Palmdale.
“As this was being renovated and developed, we started to hear stories and we started to hear how our building inspector Bud Davis, our maintenance [person], and our contractor, they played here as children when it was a county rec center,” said former SAVES Coordinator Barbara Shaw. “Many of the others, our volunteers and our supporters, they came here when it was a senior center. Those people have worked together to return it to the community as yet another service organization and we are very proud to be the current keepers of this amazing building.”
“It’s not the building, it’s the people,” said Norm Hickling, field deputy for Supervisor Michael Antonovich. “It’s your heart that you put in to it and your dedication.”
New SAVES Coordinator Patricia Morales, who’s responsible for the day-to-day operations, was also recognized. Morales said even after nearly three decades, SAVES was still a mystery to many in the community. She hoped the new location would change that.
“In the year that I’ve been here I realized that this was one of the best kept secrets of the Valley; 29 years and a lot of people didn’t even know what we did, where we were – that was a big thing – and how they could help,” Morales said. “Being at this new location allows for us to better help the community, better assist the community, and hopefully we will have more community support because they will be able to see where their support is going and how they are really helping the community.”
Morales also announced SAVES’ new Food Challenge. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the City of Palmdale, SAVES is challenging the community to raise 50 thousand pounds of food this year. Donations of cash in lieu of food will be recognized at one dollar per pound.
“Though it sounds really big, I think once we start it will be an easy challenge for us to meet,” Morales said. “I really think it can make a great big impact in our community.”
The SAVES program was awarded Certificates of Recognition from Assemblyman Steve Knight’s office, Congressman Buck McKeon’s office, and Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s Office. Additionally, the organization was awarded Certificates of Appreciation from the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce and the City of Palmdale.
With three times the space of the old facility, SAVES will be able to offer new and expanded services, including a client waiting room, a larger parking area, indoor restrooms and a boutique. Read more about what the new location offers here.
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.