Creating permanent and affordable housing for homeless

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bridge Point is one of 40 programs run by Turning Point. The location in Downtown Fresno is the temporary home to 30 people who are making that transition to permanent housing. The people who live here are part of Bridge Point, a program helping people without a home make a major transition in life.

Tom Richards of the Fresno First Steps Home said, "This is the first step off of the streets for a lot of homeless people. It gets them connected with services and moves them down the pathway, actually up the path to permanent housing."

Tom Richards is the board chair for Fresno First Steps Home. The local organization raises funds to help area non-profits reduce homelessness in the City and County of Fresno.

Tuesday morning they donated a 50,000 dollar grant to Turning Point, the non-profit that runs Bridge Point.

Fresno Mayor, Lee Brand said, "Our goal is to try to find more transitional housing, more permanent housing and of course that's the challenge and that's where money comes in."

Mayor Lee brand says this program is working. In the past three years, Bridge Point has helped over 200 homeless people find a home.

But Fresno still has a homeless population of nearly 1,600 and Mayor Brand says the challenge is creating permanent housing.

"We're looking outside the box. We're looking at things like tiny homes, we're looking at things like mobile homes or manufactured homes or getting an apartment complex and rehabbing the complex," Mayor Brand said.

Fresno First Steps Home still has the challenge to match the funds or grants for non-profits who need the money to help the homeless get off the streets.

Tom Richards said, "We can use all the help that the community can muster. They can be assured that close to every dollar they may contribute to first steps home finds its way to helping people get off the streets."

Fresno First Steps Home has raised over $1.3-million since 2009 and they have donated 300,000 dollars to Bridge Point.

All organizations say while progress is being made to end homelessness there is still a long way to go.
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