Springtime in Paris comes to winter in Modesto next weekend in a benefit for a new building at the Modesto Gospel Mission that’s planned to address a growing homeless problem among women and children.
The annual Tea & Fashion Show returns March 14 at the SOS Club, with proceeds benefiting the women’s New Life Program and a new women and children’s building at the mission, a support services ministry to the homeless in the community.
According to mission Executive Director Kevin Carroll, the current women and children’s space is too small for the need. While he said plans for a new building are “in the infancy stages,” the new facility can’t come soon enough.
“As far as the completion date, it would (be) nice to have it done today so we can stop turning away women and children every month,” Carroll said in an email interview. “On average, we are turning away 25 women and children a month.”
Carroll said the mission is now working with the city of Modesto to get paperwork completed for the new facility and, once that’s done, plans to break ground as soon as possible.
Initial drawings are for a two-story building behind the gates at the current shelter, 1400 Yosemite Blvd., where currently there is a large, L-shaped grass area. Plans are for it to accommodate up to 80 women and children.
There will be a children’s activity center including a library and play area, as well as individual rooms for program participants and their children. “We are desiring to offer more services to see women safe and secure so they can recover from their issues,” Carroll said.
Currently, the Gospel Mission has space to house 54 women and children, but Carroll said they have seen a large increase in demand for shelter.
“This has also been seen on a national level,” he said. “Presently, we house emergency shelter guests and program guests in the same building. The new facility will allow us to increase our emergency shelter for women and expand our program services that we offer to women and children.”
Initial cost projection for the new facility is $2.1 million, about $3 million after adding in operations and staffing, he said. The mission is looking to several sources for funding.
“We have some seed money funds set aside from a trust the mission received a few years back. We are also adding to that fund with the different fundraising events we are holding,” Carroll said. “Ultimately, we will ask the community to help out as they can by maybe sponsoring a room or some other part of the building.
“Homelessness is a community issue, and we want to do what we can as a ministry to help those in need. We love this community and want to do what we can with help to serve the needy and continue to provide the services that will help lives find refuge, recovery and restoration.”
For next weekend’s 600-seat fashion show fundraiser, the mission is partnering with five local boutiques, with clothing from Elegant Bridal and Quinceañera, Define Clothing, Eve & Me, Christina’s Fine Women’s Clothing and bonnie j, according to Director of Development Anastasia Carroll. Women from the New Life Program will model, along with two daughters of mission staff members who will show prom dresses. Tickets were still available as of Thursday.
Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy will do hair and makeup for the event. The Key Club and the fashion merchandising class at Gregori High School also are volunteering.
Reach Bee staff writer Pat Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEA & FASHION SHOW
WHEN: 1 p.m. March 14
WHERE: SOS Club, 819 Sunset Ave., Modesto
TICKETS: $40, or two for $75; $350 for table of eight along the catwalk and stage
CALL: (209) 529-8259