Restaurant Helps Sacramento Senior Safehouse Stay Afloat

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Sacramento’s Senior Safe House will stay open, thanks to the efforts of many local business fundraisers and individual donors.

They faced a shut down if they did not accumulate $200,000 by Valentine’s Day to support their program.

Since its inception in 2009, the Senior Safe House has housed more than 250 abused or neglected seniors, who stay anywhere from a few days to a month at a time. It has been kept afloat, mainly due to private donations. Every year, a gentleman had been donating $200,000 out of the annual $250,000 budget. However, with his recent passing, the safe house is feeling the pinch.

“We weren’t going to get that gift this year, so that kind of put us in a crisis mode,” Christie Holderegger of Volunteers of America said. The group maintains the Sacramento Senior Safe House.

Christine Slaight heard about the need, and immediately responded. She and friend, Chris Johnson who owns Cattle Rustlers Steakhouse in Citrus Heights organized a fundraiser. For $12, customers got 4 oz. of tri tip, chicken, rice pilaf, a side salad and a dinner roll. Half of that went directly to the Safe House.

By the end of the night, more than 100 hungry customers traded vouchers that helped out the cause.

“I had a grandparent that was kind of in a similar situation… not neglected or abused, but just needed help, and it’s good to know that they would be safe and would be taken care of,” Johnson said.

Adult Protective Services estimates 4,500 elder abuse reports in Sacramento County every year. But with many local businesses and private donors stepping up to the plate, those numbers are sure to decline.

“It was getting discouraging that people seemed to not care about seniors, but I completely changed that,” Holderegger said.

With the help of Cattle Rustlers Steakhouse and many other donations made within the last three weeks, Sacramento’s Senior Safe House will remain open at least for the next fiscal year.

However, their money problems are far from over. Volunteers of America is still looking for a more permanent funding source to support the cafe house in the future.

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