- Precious Life Shelter, Inc., was opened January 1, 1989, to provide a loving, home-like environment for the woman seeking to give birth to her child in a safe place. Its purpose was to provide emergency and transitional housing, food, and immediate necessities for mother and baby. Extended care housing, eventually called Single Parent Efficiency units, was opened in February 1991 and the Emergency Shelter in April 1992.
- The original property was purchased in July 1988. It consisted of two houses that, after extensive renovation, were made ready for transitional housing. The first house opened in January 1989 with a capacity for six women and two babies, plus living quarters for an unpaid house-manager. At the end of 1989, the second house was opened. It provided room for four more women and two more babies, enabling us to serve ten women and four babies.
- At the end of 1989, we exercised an option to purchase the adjacent property for future development at a cost of $360,000. Almost one-third of an acre, this property would lend itself to our strategic plan for future development. This secured piece of land consisted of a house toward the front of the property, a separate small, two-bedroom house at the rear of the property, and a storage garage. This property was subsequently developed, at various stages, to result in the Emergency Shelter (1992); the original Thrift and Gift Shop (1992); the Single Parent Efficiency units (1997); and The Sherrin House (2001).
- The PLS Emergency Program was opened on April 15, 1992. It has capacity for six women, and two babies, plus living quarters for a house-manager. A $70,000 grant from the State of California, plusthousands of dollars worth of donated time and materials, allowed for the rehabilitation of the existing building into an Emergency Shelter. The generosity of HomeAid Orange County (a non-profit corporation launched by the Orange County Building Industry Association to rehabilitate shelters for the homeless throughout the county) enabled the development of the Program far beyond the original vision of the founders of PLS. A joint effort with HomeAid made it possible to add a Thrift Shop on the property to help raise funds by selling items donated by members of the private sector. The builder captain on this project was SouthWest Diversified.
- Our Single Parent Efficiency Program broke ground on July 7, 1997, and the first mom and infant moved in on January 1, 1998. This residence replaced the small, two- bedroom house at the rear of the second property. This two-story, 5000 square foot building now has five units on the top floor, each consisting of a bedroom, efficient kitchen, one bath, and a living and eating area. The ground floor was built out as four two-car garage units that are used as a pantry, thrift goods storage area, resident recreation area, and a classroom/computer area. This space could be converted back to garage units easily, if needed. Construction was done with the help of HomeAid Orange County and a HUD construction grant for $100,000; the builder captain was Warmington Homes. This phase of the program has served as a model for HomeAid America to help other states develop similar type complexes for the needy.
- In January 2000, the Thrift and Gift Shop was moved to a property located adjacent to the Shelter at 3622 Florista (the corner of Reagan and Florista). The new store was expanded from our original 700 square feet to 2,100 square feet. It has its own direct phone line at (562) 430-7309. A receipt for tax purposes can be given for donations. Additionally, the second Saturday of each month, from 8a.m. to 3p.m., is the Blow-Out sale.
- In 2000, construction began on The Sherrin House, a 12-bed transitional facility. Included in this renovation is a house manager’s unit with bedroom, kitchen, bath, and living room with a private entrance. This building also includes an ADA approved unit for any Single Parent Efficiency resident that might have special needs. Our Precious Life Infant Care Facility is located on the bottom floor of the building and was licensed for six infants. This 5000 square foot building replaces the old storage garage and original Thrift Shop. Once again, the building was constructed through coordination with HomeAid Orange County, and the builder captain was CENTEX HOMES. The dedication for The Sherrin House was in November 2001.
- In 2006, HomeAid Orange County once again began the process of helping us secure a builder to increase our capacity and replace our original transitional units. As builder captain, EmpireHomes has constructed dual two-story buildings that included five new one or two bedroom units, a new childcare facility with capacity for ten infants, plus laundry and office space. Two two-car garages in the back of the building are utilized as a baby storage area and event/auction storage and sorting areas. Again, these spaces can easily be converted back to garages, if needed. These units will provide Single Parent Efficiency and Reunification units for our working women.
- The final development of our properties on Reagan Street is complete. Our capacity to serve allows a woman to stay from one to thirty days as an emergency resident; two to three months after birth in The Sherrin House as a transitional new mother; and up to twenty-four months as a Single Parent Efficiency resident. Placement in our Reunification units will be determined by the needs of the children, plus the infant and mother being served. Our childcare facility will continue to operate for our working women who choose to use our services as their care provider. Other children needing care will be provided for off-site at the mother’s discretion.