How’s the Manteca homeless efforts?
A sample size of that was provided at Tuesday’s informational session at the Manteca Transit Center.
“The warming center has made a great impact on the lives of many people – other cities are looking at us,” said Johanna Ferriera, who is the City of Manteca’s Senior Management Analysit.
She’s referring to the temporary tent structure in the parking lot at 555 Industrial Park Drive.
Not too long ago, City Council approved an emergency ordinance to get the estimated 218 homeless into a temporary shelter during cold winter evenings.
Enter Inner City Action Inc.
Pastor Frank Saldana, who is the CEO and founder of the non-profit group, and his wife Kim have seen plenty of success stories since the opening in early December.
With the help of volunteers and organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, they’re managed to provide food, shelter, showers, and life coaching to the homeless.
“This is not a daycare,” Frank Saldana said. “Those who are here help out with the cleaning and other duties – they’ve become a family.”
He noted that the place as sleeping quarters is nicely organized during the evenings and neatly stored away during the day thanks to the efforts of the regulars.
During that first month, the warming center had 1,595 daily check-ins and 515 overnight stays. Some 596 breakfasts were served in December along with 725 lunches and 989 dinners.
Saldana, who noted that the place is always in need of more community support – “We’re not trying to do it all ourselves but we are open to volunteers,” he said – added that 342 used the showers in that first month while 56 received haircuts.
In January, the warming center saw an increase, with 2,466 checking in daily and 1,191 staying overnight.
Saldana and his group helped serve 1,120 breakfasts, 1,057 lunches, and 1,574 dinners. Haircuts were down to 42 while shower usage soared to 637.
Along the way, they were able to get a few people off the streets by reuniting them with family or provide jobs.
“Many are skilled laborers who are just down on their luck,” said Kim Saldana, who mentioned that 11 landed warehouse jobs.
“The real success is how many did we transitioned out successfully,” she added.
The warming tent is scheduled to be in operation through March 31.
“We need about $39,000 to last until then,” Frank Saldana said.
He pointed out that the two portable 50,000 BTU heaters cost $650 a day for fuel. The propane gas used for cooking takes another $50 per day.
The portable restrooms cost $2,400 while transportation for daily pickups and other duties come up to another $100 per day.
Ferriera was pleased to announce that two groups recently donated $5,000 each towards the homeless effort.
“Manteca is a very giving community,” she said.
For more information, call Inner City Action at 1.800.466.7205 or click on to www.innercityaction.org.