As August comes in and people are considering late summer vacation plans and tallying up the costs of back to school shopping, the Turlock Homeless Assistance Ministry center is wondering if they will have enough money to keep the lights on.
The H.A.M center, which is operated by the Turlock Gospel Mission, is facing a funding shortage of $20,000 because of a downturn in donations.
“This community has been overwhelmingly generous,” said Rev. Tim Guerino, the executive director for the Turlock Gospel Mission. “We’re glad to get the donations, but typically our hardest months are June, July and August. Sometimes people forget homelessness is year round.”
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the center on East Avenue offers multiple resources for the homeless, including meals and the tools needed to research and apply for jobs and social services.
Guerino said the H.A.M. center is going into August with “an extreme cash flow challenge.”
“At this point we are at risk of not being able to meet our financial obligations,” Guerino said.
The shortfall comes at the same time the Turlock Gospel Mission is trying to raise additional funds for a future year-round shelter. The Turlock Gospel Mission needs to raise $30,000 to complete the building plans for the shelter. Guerino is hopeful the money can be raised by Sept. 1. So the year-round shelter, planned for 437 Broadway, could be breaking ground by February of next year.
“We need the plans so we can show them to some of the corporate sponsors we are hoping to enlist,” Guerino said. “If we can’t get the money by Sept. 1, it will continue to slow down the whole process. I know the community wants this shelter as bad as we do.”
Donations can be mailed to the Turlock Gospel Mission P.O. Box 1231, Turlock, Ca. 95381.