With one scoop of turned soil, Turlock marked a major milestone in the quest to construct a year-round homeless shelter.
The prospect of building a permanent shelter in Turlock has been tossed about for several years and on Wednesday it made significant steps forward when the Turlock Gospel Mission hosted their groundbreaking ceremony at 437 S. Broadway.
The ceremony kicked off construction on phase one of the project, which will encompass dormitories for homeless men, women, and children, restrooms with showers, and laundry facilities.
The entire project, which will include a kitchen, dining hall, and office space, is estimated to cost $1.8 million, Turlock Gospel Mission Executive Director Tim Guerino said.
Phase one has an estimated price tag of $500,000. The Turlock Gospel Mission has about $65,000 to go to meet that mark as of Wednesday, after receiving a $10,000 donation from the St. Vincent De Paul Society.
“This project has really been funded by the community,” Guerino said. “Whether it has been big corporate donations or $5 donations, its money sacrificed by people and we appreciate that sacrifice. It tells these folks that someone cares about them.”
The project, which is being managed by Torre Reich Construction, will see the warehouse taken down to its foundation and steel frame, before being built up again. The completion date is set for Oct. 1.
“It’s kind of like jumping out of an airplane,” Guerino said of seeing work started at the site. “It’s a leap of faith and I can’t wait to land.”