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Poker tourney benefits Manteca homeless shelters
Mark Candido, left, last year’s winner of the custom poker table, shows his hand to Bob Raymus as they practice for Saturday’s poker benefit for the HOPE Family Shelters. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• POKER TOURNAMENT: A poker tournament with a $50 per person buy-in takes place Saturday, April 25, from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Bank of Stockton. For tickets call Bob Raymus, 470-1093; Nancy Wright, 612-1524; Marla Corfiatis, 612-6483; or Dave Thomspon, 824-6058

Bob Raymus believes the homeless – many who are employed 40 hours a week – need a helping hand.

That’s why the longtime benefactor of the HOPE Family Ministries is staging a poker tournament on Saturday, April 25, from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Bank of Stockton to raise money for the two primary shelters the non-profit operates.

A $50 entry fee gets you into the tournament play and covers prizes and snacks. A no-host bar will be available. All proceeds go to the shelters.

Among the prizes are:

•a poker table valued at $500 built by Chris LaRue and Rod Clements.

•Oakland A’s tickets right behind home plate with all you can eat and parking that has a value of $450 is being donated by Richard Paulson Insurance Services.

•a slot machine bowling ball donated by Dallas at McHenry Bowl Modesto.

•bowling and food for 10 donated by Dallas at McHenry Bowl Modesto.

•WSOP Poker Chip Set donated by Dallas at McHenry Bowl Modesto.

•two $50 gift cards from Terry Davis at Eagle Harley Davidson.

•$50 gift card from Wal Mart.

•2 (1) month memberships and 8 hours of self defense classes from Ryan at 24 Hour Fitness.

•family dinner value of approximate value of $50 from Tevani and Jeff at Mountain Mike’s Pizza.

Tickets are available at Raymus Homes, 250 Cherry Lane, Suite 116 (824-3080) or at the Raymus House shelter, 520 S. Union Road, (824-0658).

HOPE Ministries was started 18 years ago. The original family shelter at Yosemite and Sequoia in the original Manteca Hospital building that was later converted into an apartment complex later accommodates six families. The Raymus House – a former rest home on South Union Road that the Raymus family rents to HOPE Ministries for $1 a year – accommodates nine single moms and their children. There is also a six unit transitional housing complex near Doctors Hospital where families can stay up to two years and pay 30 percent of their income in rent.

The three shelters served 108 families last year that included 226 children. The shelter doesn’t keep a “waiting list” per se but they do field 20 to 40 calls a day from people looking for shelter.

HOPE Ministries is getting by with $150,000 although they budgeted $168,000 to operate the three shelters. They cut back on staff and some assistance programs for clients. They also pared back external efforts such as providing emergency food for the needy or helping with part of a month’s rent payment when a family incurs an emergency expense so it can help avoid them from becoming homeless.
The state cut funding back to zero but in an ironic twist the federal government increased some of its funding since San Joaquin County has been hit so hard by foreclosures. As a result, just under $50,000 comes from emergency grants to help the homeless that also includes $7,600 in pass through federal government Community Block Grant funds divided up by the Manteca City Council.

The remaining $100,000 comes from individuals, churches and businesses in Manteca.

Families – when they can get in – have two months of rent free living. During that time, a vast majority of families cobble together the money and get a place of their own. It is a success rate underscored by the fact 80 percent plus of the shelter’s clients end up finding a place they can afford to rent and end up no longer being homeless.

Kids in the Box
The annual Kids in the Box fund raiser is Friday, May 15.

It involves youth collecting pledges and spending the night sleeping in boxes on the grounds of the Raymus House.

The adult-supervised event involves kids decorating the boxes as well.