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Day center will be open overnight for homeless
homeless day center
The Turlock Gospel Mission has had to discontinue using its day center as an overnight warming center for homeless individuals due to lack of funding (Journal file photo).

Homeless individuals will have a warm place to go over Christmas, but whether it continues into the new year remains a question.

The Turlock Gospel Mission has opened up their day center to serve as an overnight warming center for homeless individuals. The goal is to keep it open through the end of March, with funding of $25,000 coming from Stanislaus County. However, the contract for the service and the funding might not come till mid-January and it’s unclear if TGM would get reimbursed for the costs associated with running the warming center during those nights before the contract is signed, said TGM Executive Director Christian Curby.

“If we could get a target date of when the contract will start, then we’d have a better idea of our expenses,” Curby said. “Right now, I can commit to keeping it open through Christmas, but we can’t afford the costs on our own through mid-January.”

Curby said it costs about $200 a night to operate the warming center, which is primarily to pay for security.

The day center was used as a warming center over the Thanksgiving holiday and was well used by homeless individuals, Curby said. Earlier this week TGM was asked by the city to open it up again for overnight use because they were enforcing the municipal code at Montana Park regarding tents and storing personal property in public spaces.

Curby said about 30 people on average have been using the warming center.

The warming center will be open from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night at 432 S. Broadway, Turlock. There will be storage space for belongs and kennels for pets. TGM can’t turn the center into a shelter with beds, cots or mats because the building doesn’t meet state guidelines for shelters.