MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In just 10 days, some of the 400 homeless people living underneath a Modesto overpass will be moved into a new shelter.
Tuesday afternoon, the public was invited to check out that new space, which will be housed inside The Salvation Army.
“Can’t be outside in this cold this year, so having a place to be inside is really a great thing,” said Margaret Aherne.
Aherne and her partner, Joseph Jerrue, were just a couple of the hundreds of homeless people living at the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter.
Aherne was elated about the move into the new shelter.
“Inside, that’s the best part,” she told FOX40.
She said she spent months in the hospital with an infection and can’t risk living in the cold.
“I just couldn’t do it this year,” Aherne said. “I think that would probably be it for me.”
Stanislaus County Chief Operations Officer Patricia Hill Thomas said the effort to build the shelter was a monthslong process
“Collaboration with The Salvation Army, a church organization, the County of Stanislaus and the city of Modesto,” Hill Thomas said. “It is about people wanting to make a difference together.”
The shelter is low-barrier and will offer laundry, some storage, showers, and access to mental and health services
“This is the largest shelter that we opened in November. It’s not the only one,” Hill Thomas explained.
It will not, however, house all of the homeless from MOES.
Hill Thomas said most will move to the new shelter but some families will go to other shelters throughout the city.
Aherne and her boyfriend said they are anticipating the move with Moxie, their dog.
“It’s wonderful because I would be back out on the streets if I couldn’t bring her with me,” Aherne said.
The shelter officially opens Nov. 15.