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Manteca homeless revival attendance grows
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Jim and Jody moved from Nebraska several years ago and were waiting for their turn in the showers. They are pictured with friend and shower director Stephen “Red” Waldrup. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Inner City Action Pastor Frank Saldana noted Friday started out with a “true gift from God” at the site of the Manteca Homeless Revival that is underway through next week in the former parking lot of the Qualex building at 555 Industrial Park Drive.

Saldana said he received a call from a Manteca resident named Ron with a check for $500 to pay toward the $2,000 rental of large heaters to warm the Revival Tent for the Sunday night service for the homeless. 

Saldana said Thursday night’s revival brought in many homeless who stayed after having dinner and listened as others gave their testimonies about their lives on the street and truly felt they were saved by their faith in God.  The on-stage band added to the event as did the cohesive family atmosphere of the homeless gathered together.  

One man who was seen outside the chain link fence of the Industrial Park Drive temporary complex Friday morning was ready to head off when he was spotted by revival staff volunteers.  After talking with him for a few minutes he entered through the gate and was walked over to the shower area where he first selected a fresh and clean change of clothes – had a hot shower – and sat down in a barber chair and was given a new look.

Staffers were told there were many clothing donations to be brought into the revival campus that had been left at the city corporation yard on Wetmore Avenue just east of South Main Street. Three of them jumped in a bobtail truck and headed to the yards, coming back with a full load of food, clothing and shoes thanks to the Manteca Police Canine Unit. 

A tank truck from Windmill portable potties in Ripon pulled up to their potties stationed around the campus Thursday morning, emptied them into their tank with long hoses and washed the enclosures with a pressure hose.  The Windmill firm serviced the potties at no charge.  Others had quoted a minimum charge of $140, the pastor said.  

Manteca Police Community Resource Officer Mike Kelly could be seen walking through the makeshift campus talking to many of the homeless he has served in his two-year-long assignment to work with them in an effort to get more off the street and back into families.  Kelly has been lauded for his positive nature with the homeless and the numbers he has gotten back into the work world supporting themselves and their families plus helping to mend the breaks in many family relationships.  

A young couple in their early 40s – Jim and Jody – approached the showers together in mid-morning having come from Nebraska several years ago.  Falling on hard times, they had lived in the “Tweeker Towers” upstairs apartments at Yosemite and Main streets in downtown Manteca for two and a half years. 

Jim said they had their fill of hearing the constant yelling in the halls and from the rooms and felt they had to opt for living in his wife’s Jeep where they slept for the next year before finding the Inner-City Action group that welcomed them into their circle. They had discovered mold growing in their vehicle and had to clean it out for their own health. 

The evening ended once again Thursday with a prayer service in the Revival Tent backed with music from the Inner-City Action Band to add to the excitement of the gathering.  

The homeless revival is expected to continue until Feb. 4 and may be extended until Feb. 8.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email