A Colusa High School student is looking for ways to help the City of Colusa’s homeless population, and she is looking to enlist the help of her community as a part of her senior project.
Selena Moreno, 17, will host various free lunches for the less fortunate in Colusa, and is working with the Safe Haven Drop-In Center, located at 411 Main St., where the lunches will be served.
“I am asking the community to become more involved in assisting the local homeless population by volunteering and preparing these lunches and/or donating foods to prepare these meals,” Moreno said.
She added that items needed include noodles and sauces for pastas, salads items, sandwich bread and meats, tortillas and taco meat, water bottles, sodas, napkins, and disposable plates, forks, and spoons.
Moreno is also hoping to bring a greater awareness of Safe Haven and the services it offers to those struggling in the community.
“If I’m not mistaken, Safe Haven is the only place in the county that homeless people can go to get a meal,” Moreno said. “I know that there are churches that do it, but it’s dedicated to that. A lot of people don’t even know that Safe Haven is around.”
Moreno said she chose to address the issue of homelessness for her senior project for two primary reasons, one of which was very personal.
“First, I’ve just always had a soft spot for it. I feel really bad: I can’t imagine not having somewhere to go to sleep, not having something to eat – it’s just really sad, you know?” Moreno said. “Aside from that, right now, I have very close family members to me that are currently homeless. I have had family members in the past, when I was younger, that were homeless… I think I can help make it easier for other people who are also struggling.”
Moreno said that the need for the community to step up and provide greater support to the city’s homeless population was great, because the rural community receives so little funding from the state and federal government.
“(The issue of homelessness), I know it’s is bigger in a lot of places, but I feel like a lot of people really don’t realize that it’s a problem here,” Moreno said. “I participated in a homeless count last week with the Colusa County Department of Behavioral Health, and I didn’t realize how many homeless people we had in Colusa County. It was very eye-opening. I was definitely unaware myself of the number of people who are struggling here.”
Moreno is asking that anyone who has questions or is interested in volunteering to help prepare the lunches contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Safe Haven at 458-8338. Any donations should be delivered to Safe Haven, and donors are being asked to mention that they are related to Moreno’s senior project.