On Tuesday, October 23rd, the Turlock City Council will consider approving a five year lease agreement between the City of Turlock as the Housing Successor Agency and Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus for the Housing Successor Agency owned building located at 301 Starr Avenue, for the purposes of Haven Women’s Center to provide services to the Turlock community.
The former Redevelopment Agency purchased the former Recreation offices located at 301 Starr Avenue in June 2011, for the purpose of the Agency developing low/mod housing. However, since that time, the revenue attached the former RDA has ceased and it appears that a different financial strategy must be developed in order to successfully develop affordable housing on this parcel.
The Starr avenue parcel has been in dispute with the Department of Finance (DOF) with regard to its designation, as a Housing Asset. After staff filed an appeal through the DOG as part of the Meet and Confer process, notification from the DOF was finally received on October 5th, 2012, that the DOF had withdrawn their objection to Starr Avenue’s designation.
With a reduction in HUD funds, as well as the cessation of the RDA, a new financing strategy will need to be developed in order for new development to occur. However, in the meantime, the City wishes to utilize the building for a public benefit and to continue to serve the community.
The Starr location is ideal for the delivery of these services as it is located directly across the street from the current Turlock Police Department as well as less than a mile from Emanuel Medical Center.
Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus is a catalyst for individual empowerment and societal change. Haven promotes safety and healing for women and children impacted by domestic or sexual violence, dedicates itself to a non-judgmental, holistic, client centered approach through advocacy, education and supportive services, and believes in honoring their heritage, and validating the feelings and experiences of the many lives affected by violence against women.
The Haven Women’s Center has been serving women and children in Stanislaus County for 34 years. The agency operates with the philosophy that gender-based societal barriers toward women still exist in the forms of violence and discrimination because of gender, race, age, culture, religious preference, sexual orientation or developmental or physical ability. Haven is dedicated to serving as an agent of social change while supporting individual women to strive for equity and empowerment.
The center was founded in 1977 as Haven/Stanislaus women’s Refuge Center providing domestic violence support services to battered women and their children in Stanislaus County. The following year, Haven was awarded one of six grants in the State of California to establish pilot shelter programs.
Services include counseling services, youth programs and education, case management, legal assistance, and behavioral health services.
Should the Council approve the item, there will be no impact on the General Fund. Expenses, such as building maintenance, utilities and property and possessory interest taxes will be the responsibility of Haven Women’s Center per the Lease Agreement. The Council could vote against the item, however, it is not recommended by city staff as Turlock is currently underserved in the delivery of domestic violence services, and also having the building occupied is considered superior to the building remaining vacant.
To view the entire agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, please visit www.ci.turlock.ca.us/government/turlockcitycouncil/citycouncilmeetings.