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Calvary Community steps up to help homeless families

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Calvary Community steps up to help homeless families

Calvary Community Church volunteer Aaron Golden looks for some better footing before cleaning gutters at the HOPE Family Shelter on Yosemite Avenue.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED March 28, 2010 1:57 a.m.
There are dozens of homeless families waiting to secure an apartment for two months at the HOPE Family Shelter so they can get their finances back in order and obtain their own rental housing.

Two of those eight apartments, though had fallen into such a state of disrepair that the HOPE Ministries wasn’t able to use them.

That’s where the Calvary Community Church’s entered the picture.

They arranged for volunteers and donated items to refurbish the two apartments from new flooring, painting, and electrical work to appliances such as refrigerators without costing the struggling HOPE Ministries a dime. At the same time, contractors stepped up and - for just the basic material - did needed tile work in the two units.

“Calvary Community has been great,” said Bob Raymus who serves on the HOPE Ministries.

Raymus noted that the church has made it possible for the shelter to help more families that are in need.

HOPE Family Ministries was organized by the Manteca Ministerial Association 20 years ago to provide shelter for homeless families. Since the doors of their first shelter opened in 1992, HOPE Ministries have assisted more than 2,000 families get back on their feet.

Twenty-five percent of the homeless passing through HOPE Shelters are employed. Some financial event – including foreclosures on rental properties in the current climate – puts them out on the street. They can afford rent but not the deposit.

Others are helped to get back on their feet with assistance in getting a job. Due to the success HOPE has had with helping homeless families get their finances in order, a number of apartment complexes in Manteca have a working relationship with the non-profit and have no problem taking renters who’ve been at HOPE shelter.

To make it work, the shelter tires to provide as much as of the basics they can from food and everyday items such as toilet paper and personal hygiene products. They rely heavily on individuals to donate such items.

HOPE Ministries also operates the nine-unit Raymus House on Union Road for single moms and their children as well as seven transitional units where families can stay for two years as they rebuild their lives.

Two families have already moved out of the transitional shelter months ahead of the two-year limit.

Staff and servcie cutbacks have allowed the shelter to get by with a $160,000 budget - $40,000 less than last year’s amount. HOPE no longer receives state money and is having their federal assistance pared back $$26,000 to $22,000.

The majority of the families helped over the year are from Manteca with almost all the rest coming from the South County although there have been some out-of-state families that were helped.

For more information or to help with donations of money or items, call 824-0658.
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