Fresno Mission to turn former Sierra Hospital into new campus

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Mission's new campus will offer more than just a safe place to call home.

"We want to give the absolute best to the people who sometimes feel like the least," says CEO Matt Dildine.

Dildine unveiled plans Friday to turn the former Sierra Hospital along Dakota Avenue into a shared campus that will serve as a "one-stop-shop" city center for those who may be experiencing life insecurity related to a lack of housing, hunger, or trauma.

Officials say the build will be like no other homeless and poverty outreach project on the West Coast.

"Everything about this place is designed so when the second someone comes in, they immediately begin to feel different about themselves and valued because we have given them a property they have not seen before, and it's specific to them," Dildine said.

The new state-of-the-art campus will offer residential housing for nearly 80 families and include a health care center, charter school, restaurant and coffee shop with office space for 20 additional non-profits, including the Central California Food Bank.

"When this campus opens, we will unveil a 3,000 square foot grocery store," says Kim Dildine.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer is throwing his support behind the project after getting a tour of the facilities.

"We're going to do everything we can to expedite all the things that are going to occur on this campus because we have a tremendous need," he said.

The mission will continue to maintain a presence downtown but officials say this expansion and any other future endeavors will all happen at other locations.

"Seventy-five percent of the homeless population doesn't want to go downtown because of the perception of safety and how it looks and some of those types of things," Matt said. "Just like in any business, you would never invest in a neighborhood where 75% of your client base didn't want to go."
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