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Homeless day center up and running
homeless day center pic
Raquel Roberts, Donald Silvey, Jason Silva, Peter Machado, Bruce Dutter and Travis Arnett gather at the Homeless Assistance Ministry, which has been open for two weeks. - photo by MACIE BENNETT/ The Journal

It’s only been in operation for two weeks, but Turlock’s Homeless Assistance Ministry is making strides in helping the community’s homeless population.

Each day an estimated 20 to 30 visitors are stopping by to use the center’s computers, check out a book, connect with a social service agency, or simply to have a cup of coffee away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

“I thought there would be more bumps in the beginning, but that hasn’t been the case,” said Rev. Tim Guerino, who directs the day center for the Turlock Gospel Mission. “We’ve been working with other agencies and bringing in new resources. It’s all coming together really well.”

Located inside a former youth center on East Avenue, the day center offers its visitors a bevy of resources, including the tools needed to research and apply for jobs. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the center also offers visitors a respite away from their daily struggles.

“The case managers have been walking the streets and getting into the parks to spread the word that we offer a safe environment,” Guerino said.

As more people and agencies become aware of the day center, Guerino hopes more services will be made available, including legal assistance and medical and dental aid.