A day-time resource and assistance center for Turlock’s homeless is getting closer to opening at 1030 East Avenue, the City of Turlock Youth Center building.
Turlock Gospel Mission leased the building from the City of Turlock back in November, 2011, for $1,080 per month. The lease resulted in the relocation of one Turlock Recreation Department’s dance class and does not expect to lose facility rental revenue due to the low usage of the building.
The lease provided an option for the fair market value of building improvements made by Turlock Gospel Mission can be used to offset the cost of rent and utilities up to $33,800. Turlock Gospel Mission has exercised that option with updates to the electrical (lights and wall sockets), fresh paint, alarm system, new doors inside and out, additional lighting outside, a fenced yard and a fenced and covered storage area.
To date, an estimated $45,000 in improvements have been made to the property. Thanks to discounts, donated supplies, and some donated labor, Turlock Gospel Mission has been able to accomplish the improvements they wanted to have done within the last two months.
"We want to give the building back to the City after the lease is up in a better condition than we received it and hopefully make it a more useable space for them in the future as well," said Jeff Woods, Turlock Gospel Mission Executive Director.
The day center facility also includes a covered, fenced storage area for such things as bikes and carts.
The day center will be a separate program from the Winter Relief Program that Turlock Gospel Mission already provides. The new program will be called Homeless Assistance Ministry (H.A.M.) and will have its own director.
Pastor Tim Guerino, the Senior Pastor of Sunrise Christian Church, was hired to manage the day program. Guerino will still be with Sunrise, but Pastor Mark and others will be assuming more of the day to day responsibilities to free Guerino to launch H.A.M.
Guerino has an excellent background for this ministry in that he was responsible for operating the Syracuse Rescue Mission for 7 1/2 years. Guerino is also a trained first responder and was the second clergy person on site at Ground Zero on 9-11.
Turlock Gospel Mission’s vision for H.A.M. is:
– Helping people restore relationships with self, family, friends and others through Christ
– Offering hope to our guests through dignity, purpose and commitment
– Connecting people to the right resources, agencies and individuals to help put them on the road to recovery
– Assisting guests in reconnecting with our community in a positive way
– Offering a safe environment during the day
"We want to provide a safe environment where guests can be comfortable and they can find the resources that they need," said Guerino.
Once the physical improvements to the building are finished, an interior designer has volunteered her time and talent to provide the comfortable environment that Pastor Guerino hopes for. There will still be many needs to furnish the space to complete the center. A complete list of those needs can be found at the end of this article.
Once H.A.M. is set up, they will have an open house for volunteers and staff to come over and have a look, prior to opening.
H.A.M. will be open during the day from 8:00am to 5:00pm, 7 days a week, and will provide a safe environment for its guests during the day, off the streets and out of bad weather.
More information about Turlock Gospel Mission can be found at their website: http://turlockgospelmission.org/
Day Center List of Items Needed:
Entry Way/ Outside: 3 nice waste cans, 2 nice cigarette butt holders, Wet/Dry Welcome mat, Motion activated lights
Open Area: Power Point Screen, Projector, 3 long sectionals, 2 large ottomans, 5 bean bag chairs, 4 round occasional tables, 3 large area rugs, digital clock, 3 six-foot book shelves, 2 eight-foot tables, 7 desktop computers for lab.
Check-In Desk: Computer Station (grey), desktop computer, 3 file cabinets, 60 wire shelving units for storage
Dining Area: 50 stackable chairs, 2 round tables with chairs, 3 solar screen shades
Kitchen: 1 rectangular table, 4 window coverings
Offices: 2 desks, 4 chairs, window coverings, 2 computers (laptop or desktop)
Conference Room: 3 window coverings, area rug, conference table and chairs