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Meet the Sandoval family, two of their four boys and a shelter guest on the right who bombed this photo. Through Harvard's successful case management by Sabrianna Marrufo and partnerships with Santa Paula Housing Authority, Continuum of Care, and the United Way Landlord Engagement program, this working family is now in their own four-bedroom apartment. 

Our Mission Statement:

Prevent and end homelessness in the Santa Clara River Valley.

 Our commitment began on Christmas eve morning in 2008 when we learned a Santa Paula man who was experiencing homelessness died overnight while hiding in one of our churches. Today, we serve the Santa Clara River Valley with shelter, food, 

many resources, and case management.

 We work in partnership with the cities of Santa Paula and Fillmore, the County of Ventura, Continuum of Care, Food Share, Waste Free Ventura County,

Behavioral Health and State of California CalRecycle.

Harvard Family Shelter


Our Mission

Our goal is to prevent and end homelessness

in the Santa Clara River Valley.


Street Outreach

This is the most difficult part of our

work. Living on the street becomes normal, and if substance abuse is

part of their life, everything is more

complicated. They lose their important documents, their phone, and miss appointments. They regularly change phone numbers and everyone loses contact with them. We go where they

are and, with time, the goal is to 

register them in the Homeless Management Information System to track their progress and needs.


Project Shine

Because so many kids live at

Harvard, we try to make life at the shelter seem normal. As a result, they regard Harvard as their home.

Tailored activites are arranged and trust groups come to Harvard to provide various activities including crafts, tutoring and inspiring conversations. Harvard Shelter is a better place because of the kids. Parents separated from their own kids share in their care and nurture--and the kids have each other to entertain.

Nomi in the truck.png

Food Rescue

Thanks to a grant from CalRecyle, State of California, we became pros at rescuing food.

We have two refrigerated vans and travel throughout the County on a daily basis to visit various grocery stores and food outlets including Amazon, Costco, Trader Joe's and many other stores.

As a result, we distribute 1 million lbs of food each year to our community and our shelter food budget is at zero.

We are an efficient operation and do a lot with a little.

Harvard Shelter is for families experiencing homelessness
in the Santa Clara River Valley of
Ventura County CA.

Get to Know Us!

Harvard Shelter is a place where families find hope and kids shine.

SPIRIT of Santa Paula has been serving the least powerful and most vulnerable in the Santa Clara Valley since 2002.  It provides 49 beds year-round, 175 meals a day to shelter guests and people on the streets. We provide case management to help people get back on their feet and find permanent supportive housing. One Stop provides medical services and showers to neighbors experiencing homelessness in the Santa Clara River Valley. We distribute 2 million pounds of food each year to people who are food insecure. 


This gives our shelter a zero-food budget and cruise-quality meals.

We have the highest Platinum Rating with GuideStar for fiscal transparency and board  responsibility.

Needs of the Week

We appreciate your generous contribution and every little bit goes a long way.

Image by Maude Frédérique Lavoie

Shelter Needs

  • White T - shirts (new preferred)

  • Pillowcases, zippered and moisture proof

  • New men's or women's underwear

Image by Hannah Busing

Donations of Funds
For Special Needs

  • Gasoline for the vehicles

  • Utilities 

  • Insurance

  • Supplies

  • Daily Operations

  • Kids Activities and Sports Programs

Image by Lina Trochez

Help If You Can

We are always searching for funding opportunities so we can grow our programs. The competition is keen so stay engaged and involved. Your support means a lot to us.


Do all the good you can, 
y all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
n all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
to all the people you can,

as long as ever you can.”
― John Wesley

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