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Committee makes plans to open homeless resource center
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The Turlock Homeless Action Committee is looking for community members to serve on the board of the future Community Resource Center.

At their Thursday night meeting, THAC revealed the details of their vision for a community center that would provide resources and referrals to Turlock's homeless. The center would also serve as a resource center for families and individuals at risk of becoming homeless.

THAC is a planning committee formed by representatives from non-profit organizations that already provide services to the homeless and local business organizations and faith-based groups. Together they want to address the causes of homelessness, help those who are already homeless, and reduce consequences to the community.

 “There's no one organization that will be able to deal with the needs in Turlock regarding homelessness,” said Ken Vanvliet, a THAC member who represents TEAM.

The Turlock Homeless Action Committee identified several ways that they can prevent and solve homelessness, which they call a “continuum of care.”  The continuum would bring together all services that are currently available in the Turlock area, and fill in some of the gaps of missing services.

THAC's action plan includes the creation of a Turlock Resource Center that would serve as a central location for all homeless care services. Member organizations, such as the Salvation Army and the Turlock Gospel Mission, would be given space in the center to offer their services. The center would serve as the first step in the continuum, and it would offer referrals to local service providers, case management and volunteer mentors.

At Thursday's meeting, THAC explained the details of how the center would operate. The Community Resource Center would be a campus style center, with buildings on several blocks offering different services.

“The immediate need is for a day center, open 8 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.), seven days a week,” Vanvliet said.

A day center would give homeless Turlockers a place to stay during the day. It would also be a place where the homeless could seek help and ask for referrals to services.

The next few steps in the continuum of care would include temporary shelter, transitional group housing, and eventually transitional individual housing.

Before moving forward, however, THAC needs a group of volunteers to join the board of directors for the Community Resource Center. Ideally, the committee would like three community members or business owners, three service providers, and three faith-based providers.

“If we can get a board together by July, we can hope to have a day center by the end of the year,” said Chris Kiriakou, THAC member and representative of the Turlock Gospel Mission.

To contact the Turlock Homeless Action Committee, e-mail Barbara Bawanan at

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.