Antelope Valley’s Only Homeless Shelter Closed.

The Antelope Valley’s only homeless shelter is shutting its doors. By Doug Smith. LA Times, Aug 4th, 2017.

 Adam Mandolph, 46, outside the only homeless shelter in the Antelope Valley, the Lancaster Community Shelter, which is set to close Sunday because of financial problems. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The rationing system at the Lancaster Community Shelter worked on a simple principle: priority to those who slept on the street the night before.

They lined up on the right. Everyone who had a bed the night before lined up on the left and got a raffle ticket. When the doors opened around 4 p.m. the right line went in first. Then those on the left were called by number until the shelter was full. Usually about a dozen were turned away.

“You come here at 3 o’clock,” said Adam Mandolph, who stood in the left line one afternoon last week. “The anxiety goes up. Will the little blue paper with your number on it come up?”

Mandolph’s number didn’t come up. The former music producer, 46, began what he called the long walk down Yucca Avenue, a quarter-mile hike to the city’s charming main street, where he would spend the night.

“I have hours of just walking tonight,” Mandolph said. He said he’s afraid of being attacked while he sleeps.

Starting Monday, there will be no reason for Mandolph to come back at all. There will be no line and no lottery. The operators of Antelope Valley’s only drop-in homeless shelter abruptly announced late last month that after struggling with red ink fo years, they are closing their doors.

The move by Grace Resources, a nonprofit organization that also operates a food bank, educational programs and a thrift store, has set off soul-searching among Antelope Valley officials amid a frantic effort to find other accommodations for the occupants of the 108-bed shelter. //

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