Prior to the purchase of 50 new steel-frame beds along with bed bug-resistant mattresses and covers, homeless women had to choose the protection at the PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) shelter or the streets. It was not an easy choice as one client said, “I used to hate coming to PATH because of the bed bugs. I couldn’t sleep.”
A $50,000 Women’s Fund grant in 2019 provided an improved experience for the approximately 188 women who needed shelter every year as well as significant savings for PATH’s operations. The associate director who oversaw the fumigation contracts and had to deal with years of complaints about bed bugs said, “The purchase of these new mattresses has reduced our costs for monthly fumigation services. In addition, it has reduced the costs of both material (bed bug spray) and staff time to spot treat for more immediate problems. Badly affected mattresses no longer need to be discarded. “
Other staff members commented, “It is a relief to not have to worry about taking bed bugs home [to my family], which put a strain on my household. Now everything is much better, and bed bug free.”
Because of the grant from the Women’s Fund, bed bugs have been almost completely eliminated and to quote a client, “Now the place is so clean. Thanks for the hard work.”
This is the time of year when last year’s grantees provide their reports of what has been accomplished with grants from the Women’s Fund. Stay tuned for more stories in upcoming newsletters.
Or, click here to read all the updates in the 2018-2019 Grants – Year-End Report in the Library on our website. Learn how our combined contributions have made a tremendous, impact on the vulnerable in south Santa Barbara County.