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New day center in the works for gospel mission
TGM day center pic
The Turlock Gospel Mission is working on purchasing the Knights of Columbus building at 432 S. Broadway to use as a new Homeless Assistance Ministry center. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

The Turlock Gospel Mission is expected to close a deal today that will have them operating a new day center across from the year-round shelter under construction on Broadway.

TGM Executive Director Tim Guerino said the organization is in the process of purchasing the Knights of Columbus building at 432 S. Broadway to use as a new Homeless Assistance Ministry center. TGM will be leaving the current H.A.M. center at 1030 East Ave. and handing the keys back to the city at the end of November, prior to the lease expiring.

TGM is expecting the new day center will cost about $150,000, with $100,000 going to the purchase and the $50,000 going for essential repairs to the building, which was built in 1949, Guerino said. The organization is hoping to raise the needed funds by the end of November through donations and avoid having to get a loan.

“We just had a donor pledge $20,000 to get the ball going,” Guerino said.

Since it’s opening in 2012, the H.A.M. center has been a nexus for services and programs aimed at helping the area’s homeless off the streets. The center has put people in touch with job skills training, substance abuse programs, mental health help, veterans’ affairs and other social services. It also provides meals and a safe place for individuals to stay between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The new day center will continue to offer the same services and will be operational the day TGM moves in, which is slated for Nov. 22.

“We’ll be up and operating right away and rehabbing things as we go along,” Guerino said.

The property on S. Broadway is across the street from the year-round shelter that TGM is in the process of building. Guerino said the organization has had to slow the construction process down while raising the funds needed to complete it.

The first phase of the project will encompass dormitories for homeless men, women, and children, restrooms with showers, and laundry facilities at the 437 S. Broadway site. The Turlock Gospel Mission needs to raise an estimated $200,000 to complete the first step of phase one. Guerino is hoping to have the funds together by the end of the year and open in January. Step two will involve raising $500,000 for an industrial kitchen and a dining area by the end of April.

“God is opening up new doors for us and we will wait on the Lord and wait for the donors,” Guerino said.

In preparation for the move to the new day center TGM will be holding a yard sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 20 and 21 at the 1030 East Ave. location.  Items up for sale include office furniture, shelving, picnic tables, and household items.