We Care: Man living on his own but he’s not left alone

November 24, 2013 

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After being homeless for three years, Robert Mello now lives on his own in Turlock. Mello spent time at the We Care homeless shelter in Turlock and with their assistance was able to find permanent housing.

ANDY ALFARO — aalfaro@modbee.com Buy Photo

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A few years back, Robert Mello had a string of difficult events in his life, including a major work injury, that left him homeless.

He found his way to the We Care shelter, and he found Jan Tucker.

Then the director of We Care, Tucker helped Mello find his way, and now Mello lives independently in a Turlock apartment complex.

Well, mostly independently. Though Tucker has moved on from We Care, Mello still relies on her for advice Tucker offers.

“She’s my guardian angel,” Mello said.

Tucker calls Mello a success story.

Mello said he doesn’t know about that. “I’m a work in progress.”


ABOUT THE AGENCY

• Address: P.O. Box 1291, Turlock, CA 95381

• Phone number: 209- 664-2003

•  Web site: www.wecareturlock.org

•  How we help those in need:

Emergency cold-weather homeless shelter

Counseling services: substance abuse and individual counseling (licensed MSW)

Computer center for employment/résumé skills and job searches

Bus passes to access essential services

Notary public

Life skills training

Assistance with obtaining needed documents such as Social Security cards or other forms of ID

All qualified shelter residents are referred to We Care’s Supportive and Transitional Housing Programs. Our case management-based housing programs offer assistance with housing placement, rental costs and support services for up to two years, with a goal of permanent stable housing.

•  Individuals and/or families assisted per month:

Since 2003, the We Care Program has operated the only emergency cold-weather shelter for homeless men in Turlock. Our shelter program is designed to assist those members of the homeless community who were ineligible for support from other social services agencies.

The shelter is open from Nov. 15 through April 15 each year, and shelters up to 49 men each night. Last season, we provided 6,229 shelter nights, and served 184 unduplicated homeless men. The past five years, our Transitional, Supportive and Rapid Re-housing programs have housed or prevented more than 130 local men, women and children from being homeless.

•  How a $10 donation helps:

Eight bus passes to essential services in Modesto

One California identification card

Two prescription medications

•  $25 donation:

One birth certificate

Five prescription medications

Shelter and a hot meal for one individual for one night

•  $50 donation:

40 bus passes to essential services in Modesto

Nearly three nights of shelter one individual, or one night for three individuals

New linens for a newly housed individual or family

•  $100 donation:

Cleaning and paper supplies for one week

Five-plus nights of shelter for one individual, or one night for five individuals

Small appliances or furnishings for newly housed clients

•  Volunteer update: We always welcome volunteers for shelter gate keepers, purchasing, preparing and serving nightly dinners or breakfast on weekends, shelter repairs and upkeep, as well as committee work throughout the year on fundraising and general office tasks.

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