The inside of the Turlock Gospel Mission’s year-round shelter maybe just a maze of unfinished walls and doorways, but in Chris Kiriakou’s mind’s eye it is a fully functioning facility offering the services and security needed by the homeless community. Now it’s just a matter of making it a reality.
To do that Kiriakou, along with his wife Linda and John and Jeani Ferrari, began recruiting community members to serve on the committee for the Hope Lives Here campaign and set a plan into motion to raise the funds needed to complete the second phase of the shelter and get it open and operating.
“Turlock has always been a giving and caring community,” Kiriakou said. “Now it’s time to focus on this project and see it finished.”
Phase one of the project generated $720,000 in donations that were used to complete the architecture, design and foundation work, as well as plumbing and interior framing construction.
The committee, made up of 27 members, has set an ambitious goal of raising $2.5 million in one year’s time. Of that, $1.6 million will be used to complete construction and repay the loan needed to purchase the property. The remaining $900,000 will be used as the first year’s operation fund.
Once completed, the year-round shelter will have beds for 35 men and 14 women and children. The facility will work in conjunction with the organization’s day center and will offer meals and career training, and help connect people to any medical or social services that would help them leave homelessness behind.
“The Turlock Gospel Mission’s motto is to rescue, recover and restore and it all begins with providing them a place where they can feel safe and secure,” Kiriakou said.
The committee is taking the kick-off of their Hope Lives Here to heart with a dinner with former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer. The meet and greet with Dilfer is set for 6 p.m. July 30 at the Carnegie Arts Center. Dinner will be at 7 p.m., followed a silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased by contacting Brianna@turlockgospelmission.org or by calling 209-417-2330.