It's a tin anniversary for Turlock's longest-running homeless shelter operator.
Turlock's We Care Program will celebrate its 10th year in operation this Saturday with an open house from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at its 219 S. Broadway shelter.
Members of the public will be treated to tours of the facility. We Care Foundation leaders will discuss the trials and tribulations of running a homeless shelter. And a special, 3 p.m. presentation will see past graduates of the We Care Foundation – those once-homeless who are now housed – speak about their own experiences.
“We want to show what we've done in the past, what we're doing now, and what we're going to be doing in the future,” We Care Foundation Executive Director Jan Tucker said.
We Care Foundation was previously housed in the then-city-owned warehouse at 400 B St. But in 2009, the Turlock City Council opted to get out of the shelter business, selling the B Street warehouse over safety concerns.
We Care Foundation didn't miss a beat, moving its now men's-only shelter to its current Broadway location in time for that winter season. It's there We Care has operated for the past three years, recently increasing in size from 34 beds to 38 beds, with overflow capacity for as many as 49 homeless Turlockers.
In those 10 years, We Care Foundation has provided more than 47,000 nights of shelter to homeless Turlockers.
“It's not over a billion served, but it's pretty good,” Tucker said.
Two new grants will hopefully help We Care Foundation assist more homeless individuals in the near future, Tucker said. We Care Foundation may even be able to open new transitional housing units, a middle-ground step between shelter life and independent living.
It's all part of the continuum of care needed to fully help Turlock's homeless community to their ultimate goal – a life in stable housing.
“There are a lot of them we can't help,” Tucker said. “But there are a lot of them we can.”