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Streets that offer Hope
Street name sale, Kids in Box help homeless families
HOPE STREET NAME PROMO1 9-12-14
Promoting naming a street to help homeless families arem from left, Amy Kieffer, Bank of Stockton community banking manager; siblings Renee Silva and Ron Laffranchi; Dave Boyd, Bank of Stockton commercial business manager; Dave Thompson, shelter executive director; and Cecily Ballungay, shelter staff - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Ron Laffranchi and Renee Silva said their parents would be proud to know that two streets in their beloved Manteca will bear their first names while at the same time helping homeless families.

The siblings purchased two of four naming rights for streets being sold in the new south Manteca neighborhood southwest of Union Road and Woodward Avenue that’s being developed by Raymus Homes. The naming of Alex Drive and Beverly Court — their parents’ first names — was made possible with a donation to the Hope Family Shelters.

There are two streets left that Raymus Homes are allowing to be named by the highest bidders with all money paid to go to the HOPE Family Shelters.

The map showing the location of the two available streets is in the lobby of the Bank of Stockton office on North Main Street in Manteca.

Street names cannot be guaranteed to be selected as they must be approved by the City of Manteca’s Emergency Services. Bids for this event will be submitted to Raymus Homes, 1433 Moffat Blvd. #13, Manteca, CA. 95336 or call 209.824.3080. Additional inquiries can be answered by calling HOPE Family Shelters at 209.824.0658. All bids must be submitted by no later than Sept. 25, 2014.

Laffranchi has been friends with Bob Raymus — who owns Raymus Homes with his sister Toni Raymus — since fourth grade at Brock Elliott School.

Bob Raymus, who is a big supporter of the Hope Family Shelters and serves on the Hope board, got Laffranchi to join the board recently.

Laffranchi noted that Bob’s father — the late Antone Raymus — donated the Raymus House on Union Road to Hope Ministries to shelter homeless women and their children. It was just one of a long list of community endeavors that the home developer financed.

“(Antone Raymus) was my second dad,” Laffranchi said. “He was very good to Manteca.”

So were Laffranchi and Silva’s parents.

Alex Laffranchi was manager of the former New Deal Market that was located in the 100 block of South Main Street for years. Beverly Laffranchi was an operator for Contel — Verizon’s predecessor in Manteca — for 30 years.

The siblings are fourth generation Mantecans.

All but 15 percent of the budget for the Hope Family Shelters’ $150,000 budget is raised through community contributions.

Kids in a Box

set for Friday

The HOPE Family Shelters board is looking for a few kids who are lucky enough not to worry about where they will sleep at night.

They are recruiting youth to participate in the annual Kids in a Box education and fundraiser set for Friday, Sept. 19, on the grounds of the organization’s Raymus House shelter for mothers and children on Union Road.

It’ll be warm compared to what some kids had to deal with this winter. Even so organizers said participants will find out that it isn’t fun to have to sleep outside.

Kids, as individuals or teams, construct shelters from cardboard. Some are very elaborate and others simple. The boxes are often decorated to look like everything from doll houses to gigantic shoes.

The shelters are set up in the Raymus House grounds for the kids to sleep in during the overnight event. The kids collect pledges for participating. The money received helps HOPE Ministries provide for the ongoing operating expenses of their family shelters.

Shelter director Dave Thompson in the past has said what surprises most participants is that they kids who are homeless are often schoolmates. Participants meet the families living at the shelter, have dinner with them and then retreat to spend a night in box houses they put together. The event is supervised by adults.

HOPE Ministries has been operating family shelters continuously since 1993 including Hope Family Shelter and Raymus House.

In a typical year HOPE provides shelter to 623 families and some 100 kids. Many eventually found permanent shelter thanks to the HOPE Shelter programs.

HOPE has almost a 75 percent success rate. That means that three-quarters of the people they have helped since opening 21 years ago — or about 3,000 of the 4,000 that includes children - have ended up being able to stay in rental housing.

Thompson said the organization has concerns this year about being able to serve the same number of families in the past as they were unable to make their budget last year putting a strain on their finances.

All donations are fully deductible.

For more information contact Donna Reed at 209.824.0658 or drop by Raymus House at 520 South Union Road, Manteca.