REST was incorporated in the summer of 2010 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to act as an initial stop gap measure to address the crisis of homelessness in the Yuba City and Marysville communities. The organization was born out of an abbreviated initial effort of housing homeless families and single women in an abandoned Yuba City fire house. That organization, called Family Emergency Winter Shelter or FEWS, worked hard at accomplishing this goal and many lessons were learned. It became evident that a faith based non-profit rotating shelter concept, utilizing area churches, would better serve our community. Some former FEWS Board members met with new area volunteers to form a new, faith based nonprofit corporation, called the Regional Emergency Shelter Team or REST. Volunteers from other congregations and community organizations joined in and contributed meals, snacks and their time during that first season. The response to REST was immediate; almost 1,900 beds were filled during that first season including 27 minor children guests. Through its church partners, REST is now open for 18 weeks from early December extending into April, offering up to 30+ beds & evening and breakfast meals. To date, REST has provided emergency shelter throughout 11 winters, while our community is experiencing its coldest, rainiest weather of the year. REST has provided more than 25,000 shelter beds and hot evening meals to people in need. Many of REST's shelter guests have transitioned from REST to permanent housing.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, amidst pandemic regulations, decreased volunteerism, and limited fundraising opportunities, REST did more than ever for the community. REST increased services and hours of operation at its shelter to better serve families and women in need. REST provided an additional four weeks of shelter and meals during its 2020-2021 winter shelter season, for a total of five consecutive months of shelter. The support of our caring, generous community made this possible.