FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A one-stop shop for those facing challenges related to lack of housing, the foster care system, hunger, addiction and other crises is coming to Fresno. On Friday, the Fresno Mission unveiled plans for the City Center.
“We designed the City Center to be a shared campus to focus on people’s barriers,” said Fresno Mission CEO Matt Dildine.
Located at the former Sierra Hospital site, the $30 million project is Fresno Mission’s most ambitious endeavor in its 72-year history. The nine-acre campus will bring 20 non-profits under one roof, providing trauma care, addiction recovery, food and other assistance.
The center will also be equipped to house up to 77 families.
“The way to offer dignity to somebody who’s homeless is not to create the nicest place for a homeless person, it’s to create the nicest place for anybody,” said Dildine.
A charter school with a specialty in homeless and foster youth is also part of the project. Aspen Ridge opened its doors in August. It currently serves grades seventh through ninth; one grade will be added every year.
“We have a full-time homeless liaison, we’re increasing our counselor capacity at the charter schools to serve those students every day,” said Shelly Lether, executive director at Aspen Public Schools.
The site will also offer free healthcare and other amenities like a community center, parks, a church, a barbershop, a free choice market, a social media lab and a restaurant and coffee shop.
The Fresno Mission said the project is like no other homeless and poverty outreach resource on the west coast.
“A place where the community can come not just to receive help, but a place that anyone would want to come to no matter who they are,” said Dildine.
“What will be taking place on this campus will change the hearts and lives of people,” said Fresno mayor Jerry Dyer. “We have a tremendous need in Fresno.”
The City Center will be ready by late 2022.