The City of Turlock is looking to bring health care services to the city’s most vulnerable residents by partnering with Legacy Health Endowment to create a pilot program for a free mobile clinic.
Legacy Health Endowment will assist the City in creating a pilot program design and Request for Proposals to solicit bids from healthcare providers to operate the program. The City Manager will make the final selection of vendor to perform the mobile health services.
The cost of the one-year pilot program is estimated to be $350,000. The Council opted to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) as the funding source. If the City chooses to extend the program past the one-year pilot, alternative funding would need to be identified.
This is just the newest action the Council has taken to address homelessness. The Council also approved the hiring of a part-time homeless program coordinator and have partnered with Stanislaus County’s Community Assessment Response and Engagement (CARE) team to open a Turlock office.
The Stanislaus County Point-in-Time Count, released Friday, recorded a drop in homeless individuals around the county from last year.
Every two years, during the last 10 days of January, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to conduct a Point-in-Time count of people experiencing homelessness. The goal is to measure the prevalence of homelessness in communities across the country. The PIT count is an unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. With the help of volunteers, the count is organized by the Stanislaus Community System of Care made up of local governments, non-profit organizations and homeless providers. HUD also requires a count of people experiencing homelessness who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing and Safe Havens on a single night. The count data is critical to determine the scope of homelessness, define existing resources, and identify any gaps in services in Stanislaus County.
Due to health concerns from the rapid transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and direction from the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency Public Health Department, the January count was rescheduled to late February. The sheltered count was conducted on Feb. 23 and the unsheltered count on Feb. 24.
The 2022 count identified 1,857 homeless individuals in Stanislaus County, a decrease of 1,070 from last year. Turlock had 211 unsheltered individuals in this year’s count.
“This year we faced some challenges with the count,” stated Jason Conway, Chair of the CSOC. “But the information we did receive will still help us develop important support services and housing for homeless individuals in our community.”
Despite the significant decrease in homeless individuals from 2021 to 2022, the count team stated that the numbers were consistent with what had been recorded in previous years.
In 2020, there was a traditional count where volunteers counted 2,107 homeless people across the county. And in 2019, volunteers counted 1,923 homeless people.
The 2022 sheltered count found 911 homeless individuals, an increase of 26% from 2021. The count in 2021 was 726 people. The record freezing temperatures on the night of the count forced many homeless people to seek shelter and shelter alternatives such as staying with friends or family.
Other PIT Highlights
• 77% of respondents reported they first became homeless in Stanislaus County
• 21% reported they were unable to pay rent as the top reason for becoming homeless
• 47% reported they had a serious mental illness
• 33% reported that lack of transportation was the main obstacle to accessing services
• 50% responded that they had been incarcerated
• 11% responded they were homeless due to COVID-19
For more information on the count, visit www.csocstan.com.