No waste for the West Side
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Oct 17, 2013 | 2122 views | 0 0 comments | 463 463 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After nearly two years in the making, Patterson’s homeless advocacy group Helping Others Sleep Tonight is about to open a homeless shelter in town as of Oct. 19.

It couldn’t come soon enough, as fall will finally give way to the colder seasons, prompting local homeless citizens to seek shelter during the bitter months.

For citizens who are concerned that the completed project will encourage handouts in town—think again. The no-substance house intents to guide people through the process of obtaining documentation and finding homes and jobs, while ensuring that the occupants will be doing household chores. There is no free ride to be found here. Occupants will work for their keep.

Another contributing factor is the price the city of Patterson paid for the building, which provides more bang for the buck when compared to another apartment complex for homeless young adults, known as Meadow Glen Apartments in Modesto. Glen Meadows, which opened Wednesday, Oct. 2, was built with federal housing money funneled through City Hall for $5.7 million.

Accordingly, the per-unit cost would equal $178,125, despite median prices for regular housing for the Glen Meadows area at $165,000 in August, according to DataQuick.

Compared to this large sum, the city of Patterson scored big with less than a quarter of a million dollars spent for Patterson’s own homeless house, according to a West Side architect.

In April 2012, Patterson city council approved a 15-year, zero interest loan of $230,000 for the group and is now slated to open this weekend — complete with housing for 16 individuals, 8 two person bedrooms, a feature family suite for four people, a 20 person dining room, 3 full bathrooms, 1 laundry room, 1 half bath, and two offices—all within 5,200 square feet.

Meadow Glen houses twice as many residents, but operates at a much higher expense rate for the 2-acre, 32-unit complex, with a ratio of nearly 65 H.O.S.T. homes for the cost of one Meadow Glen.

The West Side architect stated that Patterson was incredibly lucky to obtain the H.O.S.T. home for its current price, and said that contributing factors to obtaining such a successful sum were the freebies granted from local community members, including free drywall, engineering, concrete and wood framing.

Generally, most organizations must already be built in order to receive grants and funding, but many contributing factors within the West Side pulled together to create a cost effective building, which in turn will increase the West Side’s economic standing as patrons steadily rise on their feet to obtain jobs. Local volunteers should be applauded, as well as the city for their careful consideration on this action item.

The local architect attests to the building’s durability as well, stating that the overall ambiance was “pleasant, soothing, and durable.” Logically speaking, Patterson did well on the project, and pulled together all their resources for giving the community a hand-up instead of a hand-out. Well done, West Side.

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