A resource center aimed at helping homeless get off the streets has opened in Manteca.
The Manteca Gospel Resources Center — operated under the leadership of Tim Welsh — is located across from the Manteca Bulletin in the building that now houses the Prayer Valley Church as well as the FUN Club on the southeast corner of East Yosemite and Fremont avenues.
The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Homeless will be able to have one-on-one consultations with a resource specialist to guide them to the appropriate agencies for help with:
drug and alcohol counseling.
assistance with SSI Disability General Assistance.
temporary and permanent housing.
There also are coffee and snacks, pastoral counseling, medical referrals, and care packages.
The resource center is the outgrowth of a community effort launched a year ago this month when the Manteca City Council directed Police Chief Nick Obligacion to take steps to address homeless issues involving Library Park preventing people for using the downtown facilities.
The police chief on Thursday stressed the Manteca Gospel Resource Center is a community-based undertaking and isn’t a city imitative.
That said, he noted it addresses the need to provide help for those on the streets that do not wish to be homeless and are willing to take steps to change their situation.
Meanwhile, he said police will continue to enforce laws that are broken by individuals that are homeless such as sitting up illegal homeless encampments. Police using community service work crews assigned by the court system routinely taking down illegal encampments that they come across or are reported to the police department.
The community and city efforts have been based on the need to help those that want to make an earnest effort to not be homeless while addressing those who chose to be homeless if and when they break laws.
Another meeting of stakeholders — those that are involved in efforts to assist the homeless in Manteca — is scheduled for July 29.
While there are homes shelters for families and mothers with children as well as food pantries and other services aimed at helping the homeless and the needy, this is the first time Manteca has ever had a resource center aimed at trying to help single homeless adults.
A countywide homeless survey of unsheltered individuals in Manteca conducted in January counted 88 adults and two children who were homeless. Many homeless advocates contend the figure is higher.
The count does not include the homeless that are able to bounce from motels to the couches of friends or even their garages, in a bid to stay off the streets.
If you would like to assist the Manteca Gospel Resource Center effort you can contact Welsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com