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Hi! My name is Emma Cluff and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer with the We Care Program. I have always wanted to get involved with the Turlock’s programs for helping homeless people, but only recently was I able to make that dream come true, and I have loved spending my summer feeling that I was actually helping to make a difference. I am currently a sophomore at UC Davis, where I study evolutionary biology and comparative literature.
As I am off to college shortly for the coming school year I plan to join one of the volunteer organizations there so that I can continue to help out those in need. But come next summer I plan to be back here, devoting as much time as possible to the We Care Program. Working there has broadened my perspective about helping the homeless population here in the valley and everywhere. It has helped me see how much work there is to do, as well as how much kindness and love has gone into what is already being done.
A group of gracious volunteers from troop 451 of the Boy Scouts of America joined together to build a handicap accessible sidewalk for the We Care shelter. The sidewalk’s purpose was to create a pathway to the entry door, which would help out during the rainy winter season. In order to complete the project, they met on two separate occasions, working for around six hours each time. In order to meet the
city’s requirements, the sidewalk had to be 4ft. wide and 3.5in thick at all points, amounting to approximately two cubic yards of concrete.
The scouts and adult volunteers were very enthusiastic and willing to work, contributing greatly to the project’s success. The scouts would like to thank Dan Salazar of the Salazar Concrete Inc. for his hard work. Without his daylong labor, the project would not have met city standards. Other groups they would like to thank are Lowes and Blue Line Rental for their generous donations of supplies and tools.
In April 2015 we were able to place Rosita L. and Anthony H. into transitional housing through our Rapid Re-Housing Program. Rosita and Anthony are now both employed full time, working hard and saving up to eventually move into a bigger apartment. After being homeless for two years, they were most excited about having a stable place to live and call their own! The WCP Transitional Housing program provides transitional housing support from 2-6 months to individuals who are currently homeless and can get on board to become self-sufficient.
Steve and Dawn were homeless for 3 years, before deciding one day that it was time for change. They applied for the last spot in the Supportive Housing Program through WCP, which helps with longer-term case management. After being handed the keys to their apartment they felt accomplished and said their esteem and self worth went from 0to 10! 3 months later, Steve and Dawn are 8 months clean and sober, both have full time jobs, and have set attainable goals. Dawn was awarded employee of the week for her great customer service! We are proud that they not only had a plan and they stuck to it but also work hard daily to reach their fullest potential through the help of many local non profits.
Originating through the efforts of local service providers and concerned citizens, the We Care Program – Turlock (WCP) was incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 in 2003. The We Care Program has provided cold weather shelter services in Turlock for the past ten years for very low and low income homeless adults. The WCP first opened its doors in 2002 using the Zion Worship Center facility. The shelter remained in this location for two years and served 42-45 men and women per night.
In 2004 the City of Turlock purchased a warehouse facility on B Street for the shelter to utilize which increased the capacity to 65-70 men and women per night. 2008 brought some changes to the shelter providers in the Turlock area. Personnel changes in the City of Turlock housing services department brought in a differing perspective on the management of the homeless services in Turlock, and a local faith based organization the Turlock Gospel Mission (TGM) was formed.
In 2008 the shelter moved to its current location at 219 S. Broadway, which has the capacity to shelter up to 49 men per night. The women are now being served by TGM.