Turlock Hopeful Grant Money Can Help Homeless Issue

TURLOCK -- City, county and community leaders are coming together to tackle homelessness in Stanislaus County.

The City of Turlock is the latest to declare a shelter crisis in order to get more funding from the state.

Turlock is the second biggest city in Stanislaus County and it has the second largest homeless population. The city is hoping more money from the state will mean more help for 150 people or more who are left sleeping on the streets because there aren't enough shelters to house them all.

Samuel Borba is one of the dozens who live in tents at Broadway Park. They stay there because the city's shelters are all full.

"I would go there and try to get a room and then they said they’re full," Borba said. "So at 8 o'clock at night, I would have to come out and get my stuff and set up to make a camp. So after four or five times of trying to get into a shelter, I just gave up."

Advocates say the lack of space is a problem in Turlock.

Turlock's decision to declare a shelter crisis makes the city eligible to receive part of a $7.2 million grant California will give Stanislaus County.

City, county and community leaders will now all work together to design a unified system to address homelessness throughout the county.

While all the money won't be coming to Turlock, some advocates say more needs to be done to address two of the biggest barriers of homelessness -- mental health and substance addiction.

"I’m hoping that some of this money that's coming from the state would be used to expand services for behavioral health in our area, maybe to bring county behavioral health services here to Turlock and have them here every day," said Turlock Gospel Mission Executive Director Christian Curby.

Curby is cautiously optimistic about the money addressing the complex issue of homelessness.

The city has the end of December to finish its application to receive some of the grant money.

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