MODESTO — Stanislaus County is readying their newest homeless shelter in Modesto and in the process will be moving some 400 people out of its current makeshift facility, which are dozens of tents underneath an overpass.
There’s the kitchen, the bathroom and bedroom – it’s a home Dren Martinez has built out of a tent at the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter.
“But that’s my area, that’s my space, that’s my house,” Martinez told FOX40. “I am very thankful for I have somewhere to lay my head every night, I don’t have to struggle.”
While she wants a home, Martinez said she’s reluctant to move out and into the newest shelter in mid-November.
“I have a desk, my desk right there that’s where I work. That’s going to be taken from me if I have to go to the Salvation Army,” she said.
Stanislaus County Deputy Executive Officer Becky Meredith said the Stanislaus County Access Center and Emergency Shelter, which sits inside the Salvation Army, will house some of the 400 residents at MOE’s.
MOE’s opened in February and Meredith said it was always meant to be a temporary solution to an ongoing crisis.
“It’s going to take some time,” Meredith explained. “Everyone will tell you that works with this population that it’s about trust and establishing relationships.”
Meredith added that along with beds, showers and laundry, the shelter is working on a policy that will allow people to bring their pets.
“We’re doing our best to work with our local animal services authority to get as many of the pets that are currently in outdoor shelter vaccinated and spayed and neutered,” she said.
“I’m so for all of that. I enforce the leash law that we have here,” Martinez said.
Martinez told FOX40 whether at MOE’s or the Access Center, her ultimate goal is to have a place she can call her own and a home her four kids can visit.
“I want to get out of homelessness, I’m going to do what I got to do to do that,” she said.
County officials estimated that MOE’s will be completely closed by the end of the year. The rest of the residents not housed at the new facility will be housed at other shelters throughout the county.