SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – A parking lot is now a one-stop-shop of resources for those affected by homelessness in Manteca who are looking to change their life around.
Friday, a number of incredible stories surfaced from people who did just that and are now working to help others do the same.
“Who’s more passionate about those on the streets than those who came from the streets,” Frank Saldana said.
Saldana knows the struggle of living on the streets first-hand.
“I was on the streets, drugs, selling, using; ended up homeless myself, so I know how it is,” said Saldana.
He was able to turn his life around and now, as pastor and CEO of Inner City Action, a Stockton based nonprofit, he's working to help the homeless community in Manteca.
Saldana’s organization and Manteca Police have partnered to set up a temporary homeless outreach center that Saldana calls the ‘revival tent.’
“People coming in once they get showered, they get cleaned they have a place to feel wanted, needed. We offer here everything that they need from showers, to haircuts to nice clean clothes,” Saldana stated.
Inner City Action (ICA) says they've helped 90-100 people since Tuesday and anticipate helping more as word of mouth continues to spread.
Stephen Waldrup was homeless before becoming a volunteer at ICA.
“I was basically a career criminal my whole life, in and out of jail. Drugs, jail, drugs, jail. Waldrup said. “I got tired of living the life.
So far, four people have enrolled into their long-term program that's helped many of the volunteers working at the Revival Center.
Those volunteers say they want to be a symbol of hope for their family and friends still out on the streets.
This program helped save my life. It helped me reconcile with my family and restore my relationship with my kids and my mom. So, it’s been a blessing,” said Kaela Jenkins, co-director of the woman’s ministry.
“When they see us, they light up like ‘oh my God, if they can do it so can I.’ Because it’s never too late to turn your life around. As long as you still have breath in your lungs, it’s never too late to turn your life around,” Waldrup added.
The revival tent is scheduled to be here until February, but ICA says they're prepared to stay as long as they're needed.
Inner city action says they're funded 100-percent through donations.