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In the News

Published articles and news stories of
the happenings at Ventura County
Rescue Mission.

The Lawrence P Frank Foundation Partners with the Mission in Changing Lives

January 2015 - For seventeen years the Lawrence P. Frank foundation has generously supported the work of the Ventura County Rescue Mission. In December the foundation gave $20,000 to help support those the mission serves, plus an additional $10,000 to help homeless women and children through the Lighthouse for Women & Children program. These gifts bring the total of support given by the foundation to the mission since 1997 to $442,200.


And, as it is often said at the mission, “A changed life begins with a meal.” We can only guess how many lives have been changed because of the generosity of the Lawrence P. Frank Foundation.

Making a Difference for Homeless Children

December 2014 – Approximately 175 homeless and hurting children in Ventura County will come with their mothers to the Lighthouse for Women & Children emergency shelter, residential recovery, or transitional housing programs this year. In-N-Out Burger Foundation has awarded a $7,500 grant to the Lighthouse to help provide services for these children. This marks the eighth year in a row that the In-N-Out Burger Foundation has partnered with the Lighthouse to address the physical, mental, emotional, academic, and spiritual needs of the homeless children in our community.

The In-N-Out Burger Foundation provides support to organizations that are involved in the prevention, residential treatment, emergency shelter, foster care, intervention, and education regarding child abuse. Their goal is to "Make a Difference in the Life of a Child." The Lighthouse for Woman & Children dovetails well with the foundation’s priorities, because they provide residential treatment, emergency shelter, and early intervention for at-risk homeless children. In fact, In-N-Out Burger has played a significant role in the funding of Lighthouse children’s services over the past several years through their ongoing support.

For the past four years, the In-N-Out Burger Foundation has also supported the Lighthouse’s sister organization, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, which serves at-risk and homeless families in the San Fernando Valley.


A Legacy of Philanthropy Benefits Homeless in Ventura County

December 2014 - The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, a longtime supporter of the Ventura County Rescue Mission, awarded the mission a $40,000 grant to support their mission of providing services to the homeless and hungry. The mission is a leading provider of homeless services in Ventura County, providing an estimated 325,000 hot, nutritious meals and 68,000 nights of safe shelter each year. In addition to meals, the mission provides many other services including emergency shelter, showers, clothing, residential drug and alcohol recovery programs, and transitional housing for recovery program graduates.  

Pierre Claeyssens said he believed that "no one should go hungry, and no one should go without clothes and shelter." He and his wife Ailene founded the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation in 1980. Ailene Wood Claeyssens died in 1995. Pierre Claeyssens was one of Santa Barbara's most influential and admired philanthropists by the time of his death in 2003 at 94. Today, the couple's daughter, Noelle Claeyssens Burkey, is the president of the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation and carries on their desire to support nonprofits in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

The foundation is further connected to Ventura County through Ailene’s first husband, Adrian "Buddy" Wood, who donated the land for Emma Wood State Beach to the state in the 1950s.

“We are humbled by the generous and faithful support of the Wood-Claeyssen’s Foundation,” says John Saltee, director of the mission. “Their continuing partnership with the mission helps us to keep providing refuge, recovery, and restoration for men, women, and children in need in our community and throughout Ventura County” Saltee adds. Since 1972, the Ventura County Rescue Mission has served the poor and needy, offering hope to thousands of homeless people. Since 1995, the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation has provided nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in grant funding to the Ventura County Rescue Mission.


Giving Big on Giving Tuesday

December 2014 - The Gene Haas Foundation took Giving Tuesday to heart and showed their heart for the homeless and hungry of Ventura County. On December 2 at their Haas Automation facility in Oxnard, they presented grants to local charities. Two of those to receive grants were the Ventura County Rescue Mission and the Lighthouse for Women & Children (a program of the Mission). The Mission received a check for $100,000 and the Lighthouse received $30,000. These funds will help complete some vital projects and meet the basic needs of food, clothing, emergency shelter, and residential programs for homeless and impoverished men, women, and children living in Ventura County.

Since 2003, Mr. Haas has shown his compassion for the homeless and hungry in our community through the Gene Haas Foundation’s support the Ventura County Rescue Mission and, more recently, the Lighthouse for Women & Children. “The Gene Haas Foundation has been a faithful supporter of the Mission for 11 years. Their grants have enabled us to improve our services to our clients through equipment purchases and upgrades and provided thousands of meals to the poor and hungry,” says John E. Saltee, director of the Ventura County Rescue Mission.


Ringing in Help for Homeless Children in Need

January 2014 – A bell rang loudly at the administrative offices of Rescue Mission Alliance, parent organization of the Lighthouse for Women & Children. On Monday, December 23, George West of St. John’s Regional Medical Center and Vice President of Mission Integration for Dignity Health, hand delivered a $12,000 grant check. The grant was awarded to the Lighthouse for Women & Children in support of its services to homeless and hurting women and children.

A tradition at the Rescue Mission Alliance office is to ring a bell when a donation of $5,000 or more is received for one of its ministries. And, in keeping with their slogan of, “you bring it, you ring it” Mr. West happily made the bell peal loudly. All of the staff members in the building gathered to celebrate and thank Mr. West for Dignity Health’s generous grant.

Dignity Health has been supporting homeless women and children in Ventura County through its grants to the Lighthouse since 2005. The Lighthouse is grateful for their ongoing support and looks forward to continuing to work with them in their shared goal of meeting the needs of the underserved in our community