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Pancake breakfast raises funds to help homeless

About $7,500 collected to help resource agency.

Posted: April 5, 2008 11:08 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Dan Carmichael and his son Daniel, 10, enjoy blueberry pancakes Saturday morning at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Money raised during the pancake breakfast went to LSS Community Care Center to help the Santa Clarita Valley's homeless.

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More than 200 people feasted on pancakes Saturday morning with the common goal of raising money for the local Lutheran Social Services Community Care Center, which provides assistance to the Santa Clarita Valley's growing homeless population.

The breakfast at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Canyon Country was a first for the care center and is expected to become an annual event.

Although the final totals are still being tallied, Linda Malerba, director of the center, believes about $7,500 was raised.

About $5,000 came from the breakfast, raffle and donations. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans also made a $2,500 donation.

The money raised goes towards assisting the Santa Clarita Valley's homeless on their search for housing and jobs.

Malerba said the organization, which has a staff of three, provides many necessities, ranging from bus passes to clothing for their clients.

The center is the only year round resource agency for the local homeless as the Santa Clarita Valley Emergency Winter Shelter operates annually from Dec. 1 to March 15.

During the previous shelter season, Malerba said the center offered aid to at least 110 individuals. Seventy-two percent of the men and women served were able to find housing and jobs.

Malerba said additional funding is needed as the local homeless population continues to increase with a slowdown in the economy and increase in unemployment.

So far, she said she has seen a lot of newly homeless families with children, several pregnant homeless woman and some homeless senior citizens.

"The bottom line is that homelessness is not going away and it's increasing," she said.

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