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United Samaritans, We Care receive CDBG funds from City
The Turlock City Council awarded United Samaritans $25,000 to use for emergency food boxes (Journal file photo).

The Turlock City Council awarded five local agencies a combined $75,000 in grant funds to address affordable housing, homelessness and other needs through the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

This annual program allows the city to award a maximum of up to 15% of its annual allocation to public services plus an additional 15% of its program income generated from the previous year.  This year, Turlock had $173,000 to be used for this activity.

A request for funding proposals was made available to non-profit agencies providing services to low- and moderate-income Turlock households in late 2021. In January, nine applications were presented to the CDBG Selection Committee for consideration and scoring. The CDBG Selection Committee was appointed by Turlock Council on Jan. 11.

The applications offered a variety of services to assist families and individuals with emergency shelter, food, youth street outreach, recreational scholarships, eye care, and tenant/landlord services. 

The Grant Selection Committee scored and established the following proposed funding list:

  • We Care emergency shelter: $10,000
  • United Samaritans Foundation emergency food box program: $10,000
  • United Samaritans Foundation senior lunch program: $10,000
  • Center for Human Services youth outreach: $10,000
  • City of Turlock Parks and Recreation Department scholarships: $10,000
  • Project Sentinel fair housing services: $10,000
  • New emergency rent/utilities assistance program (City staff created this program to fill a need and is seeking a nonprofit to run it): $60,000

The City Council opted to accept the chosen awardees with a few changes. They voted to also award the United Samaritans Foundation’s eye care for older residents program $10,000 and they increased the award amount for USF’s food box program to $25,000.

“They have so many more people coming and it's not gonna get better, it's gonna get worse,” said Mayor Amy Bublak when proposing increasing the award to USF for emergency food boxes. “We have to plan for the worst on this one that people are not going to be able to afford the food because the price is so high and are going to count on us to help them.”

The grants are just a part of the CDBG funding allocation for the fiscal year 2022-2023, which will be $627,012. That amount, plus estimated program income of $130,000 and carryover of $1,700,000, leaves a total of $2,457,012 for the City to use for affordable housing, temporary relocation assistance, public services, fair housing activities, public improvements and administration. CDBG funds are earmarked to serve the low- and moderate-income households in the City and have been effectively used to assist with the elimination of blighted conditions, while also contributing towards the creation, maintenance and sustainability of affordable housing.