A Livermore-based nonprofit organization dedicated to reaching the needs of underprivileged groups has opened a new facility in Lodi to help those with mental health issues.
God’s Love Outreach Ministries on Monday officially opened its GLOM Pine adult residential facility at 408 E. Pine St., a 46-bed house that will provide a permanent home for those diagnosed with mental illness.
This is the second facility GLOM has opened in Lodi, and the fourth in San Joauqin County. The organization’s other Lodi location is a 16-bed temporary housing unit on Almond Drive.
What sets the Pine Street location apart from the organization’s other location, is that many of the clients it will serve will make the facility a permanent home.
The other facilities GLOM has opened are all temporary housing models, in which residents are released after a certain period of time.
Dr. Allen Turner, chief executive officer of God’s Love Outreach Ministries, said he wanted the Pine Street location to help the county provide permanent housing for a demographic of the community that could otherwise not obtain it on their own.
“We have a lot of other community facilities, and a lot of our clients had no place to go once they were rotated out of a residence,” he said. “We saw the need to open a permanent, long-term residence for clients, to help them get the assistance they need, as well as get them off the streets.”
Turner added he hopes the new facility will also help the county address its homeless problem. Although not all homeless suffer from mental health issues, he said many of them do, and the new GLOM location will provide them a safe environment where they will be cared for and supervised.
Along with 46 beds, the facility provides clients with two large community rooms to watch television, socialize, or play games, as well as a small library to provide a place to read.
The home will be staffed with several therapists, caretakers and social workers around the clock, ensuring the clients are continually supervised and provided assistance, director Peggy Phelps said.
She added and new location is also helping the local economy and workforce, as all employees are brand new to GLOM. With a couple dozen employees present at Monday’s open house and ribbon cutting, Phelps said the organization is hiring an additional 50 people to work at the Pine Street home.
“This location will have more stable clients than our Almond Drive site,” she said. “The clients we’ll help here will be heavily vetted. Once some of our Almond Drive clients become more stable, they could potentially transfer here. And for some, this could be their home for quite a while.”
The clients served at GLOM Pine will be offered a variety of services, including budgeting and money management, safe transportation, resume building and employment services, among others.
And they will not be spending all their time in the house or on the property. Staff will provide trips to the Haggin Museum in Stockton or Micke Grove Regional Park, as well as to Lodi Lake, a move theater or to a bowling alley.
“We want to have clients that are happy and appreciate what GLOM is doing for them, and will be able to lead better lives,” chief operating officer Sharan Ross said. “They come from not such great places. And while we all have been given great opportunities, some of them have been given things we haven’t been dealt.”
Lodi Police Department Capt. Sierra Brucia said the city of Lodi was excited to have an organization come to town and offer to help provide long-term care for a demographic in need.
“Any time additional services are made available to those with mental health issues, or are in transitional housing, is a benefit to any community, especially one the size of Lodi,” he said. “This is another resource (the department) can use to help certain members of the population we interact with on an almost daily basis.”
Turner and his GLOM staff like to call the facility a “Home with a History,” as it is also one of the oldest buildings in Lodi.
Originally named Buchanan Sanitarium by Dr. Robert Buchanan in 1910, it was sold to a group of doctors in 1956 and renamed Community Hospital.
It was converted to an adult residential facility serving the county’s mentally ill in 1967.
San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn, who represents Lodi, said the GLOM Pine facility will provide a great advantage to the community when it comes to addressing mental health, and possibly, homelessness.
“It’s a great facility, and extremely well-designed,” he said. “Obviously it will provide a future for 46 residents, and each one, as they cycle through, will be able to enjoy life without going through the problems or issues that may have caused them to be part of the cycle in the first place.”
For more information about GLOM, visit www. godsloveoutreach.com.