We Care Program Offer Shelter from the Cold, Seeks Donations

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With the holiday season at its end, the We Care Program of Turlock is urging supporters not to forget their homeless shelter in 2014.

We Care is stepping up its fundraising efforts in the new year, and reaching out more to the community to help fund its shelter.

We Care explains that, although local foundations and organizations are important sponsors for the program, individual donations are compiling an increasing percentage of donations and are welcome throughout the year. We Care hopes to eventually offer a year-round shelter to help the homeless within the community, but that will only be possible with further donations.

We Care put on several fundraising events within the last months of 2013, and is looking forward to holding more in the new year. The program encourages community members to become involved in a variety of ways, whether through donation or volunteer work – however a person feels moved to help.

The We Care Program also looks forward to new and continued partnerships with local foundations and organizations in the coming year, as they publicly thanked Our Lady of Assumption church for their recent donation of $6,000. Other local businesses are working to help in January, such as Just Cause Consignment, located downtown at 1010 Palm Ave.

Just Cause Consignment sells furniture, clothing, decor, and other home goods. A portion of their profits are donated to people and nonprofit agencies within the community, as the consignment shop sponsors one agency for a period of time; in January, those proceeds will be donated to the We Care Program.

Donations of items are also accepted directly from individuals, as the shelter is in need of toothpaste, toilet paper, bleach, shampoo, foot powder, and a vacuum cleaner, as well as necessities to combat the cold such as blankets, thermals, socks, and sleeping bags.

Recently the We Care Program had to turn away 20 homeless men due to the shelter already being at capacity. Donations will help the program take in more people to shelter them from the cold.

The We Care Program currently provides shelter services for 44 homeless men a night from mid-November to mid-April and is open seven days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. The homeless the program helps shelter fall at or below 80 percent of the area median income and are ineligible for assistance from any other social service agency, meaning We Care provides a last resort for those especially in need.

“For those who are lost and trying to find their way, the shelter is a place to call home,” said Donald, a resident of the We Care shelter.

Volunteers purchase, prepare, and serve dinners to the homeless nightly at the shelter. According to We Care, during the 2012-2013 shelter season the program served 184 unduplicated individuals and provided 6,229 shelter nights.

The program also provides on-site referrals for services including drug and alcohol cessation programs, rapid re-housing, transitional housing, essential services, notary public, bus passes, assistance with obtaining identification documents, as well as meetings for Alcoholics’ Anonymous during the shelter season.

Those looking to donate or get involved can contact the We Care Program at 209-664-2003 or visit them online at www.wecareturlock.org.

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