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Grant will help TGM open doors
TGM sign pic
A grant of $875,000 has propelled the Turlock Gospel Missions goal for funding the construction of the year-round shelter. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Turlock Gospel Mission is expecting its year-round shelter to be open and operating by the time the temperature drops for winter, thanks to an affordable housing grant that will fund the remaining construction costs.

The Turlock Gospel Mission was awarded a grant of $875,000 from the San Francisco-based Federal Home Loan Bank and its Affordable Housing Program. 

“The grant will assist TGM in reaching its vision; ‘the end of homelessness through restoration of relationships with Christ, family and community,’” said TGM Executive Director Christian Curby.

The grant, which can only be used for construction, propels the Hope Lives Here campaign to build the year-round shelter over the goal of $2.5 million.

Once completed, the year-round shelter will have beds for 35 men and 20 to 25 women and children at the start of operations. The facility will have an industrial kitchen that will be used to prepare meals, teach job skills and generate income through rentals. There also will be a dining area, a computer lab/conference area, showers, medical resources, storage areas and laundry facilities.

“We are small, but that will allow us to be nimble and change to address various needs,” Curby said.

The facility will work in conjunction with the organization’s day center to offer career training and connecting individuals with the social, mental health and medical services needed to help them leave homelessness behind.

The Hope Lives Here campaign is still seeking donations to fund the operational needs of the shelter, as well as for kitchen equipment and furniture needed for the dorms.

The mission of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is to enable families and individuals of all income levels to obtain housing and become homeowners by providing wholesale products and services that help member financial institutions.  The FHLB-SF awarded $73.6 million in Affordable Housing Program grants to 89 recipients in a competitive application process.  With support from Turlock member bank Oak Valley Community Bank, the City of Turlock and Torre Reich Construction, TGM successfully applied to the FHLB-SF’s 2017 Affordable Housing Program.

“Getting this grant is a reflection of the work the community has already done,” Curby said.

“It was only possible through the continuing support the Mission has received from the community since its inception in 2007,” said TGM Board President Chris Kiriakou.

The Turlock Gospel Mission began serving meals in 2008 and has offered an evening meal ministry and shelter for women and children during the cold months. The organization opened the Homeless Assistance Ministry in 2012. The H.A.M. Center is now located across from the shelter at 432 S. Broadway and offers homeless individuals a safe place to go during the day. Through the two facilities TGM will be able to bring mental illness support, substance abuse treatment coordination, medical assistance, life and career skills resources and legal aid to homeless individuals in town.

The point in time count of homeless individuals conducted in late January by the Stanislaus Housing and Support Services Collaborative found there were 248 reported homeless individuals in Turlock. In total, Stanislaus County has a reported 1,661 homeless individuals, according to the data compiled during the count. The count was generated through surveys completed by homeless individuals and through observations in each town in the county.

Of the 1,260 questionnaires that were collected during the count, 229 homeless individuals stated they had a serious mental illness. Another 230 said they had post-traumatic stress disorder and 229 said they had a chronic physical illness. There were 254 people who stated they had substance abuse issues.

The survey showed the most frequently cited reason for becoming homeless was the loss of a job and/or the ability to find one. It was followed by substance abuse issues and the inability to pay rent or a mortgage.