Former Salinas nightclub transforms into center for homeless

New program to help homeless in Salinas Chinatown

SALINAS, Calif. - What was once a nightclub in the heart of Chinatown, the old building will now be the home to a new Health Services Center.

"It's wonderful to see old buildings being re-purposed to something that is going to be really good for this neighborhood and really good for these people stuck in their lives," said Dorothy's Place Executive Director Jill Allen.

The 24-hour restroom and shower facility will provide a number of services to the homeless.

"This could include outpatient mental health services, outpatient addiction services, HIV and AIDS services, and medical services," said Allen.

The end goal: help people get off the streets.

"As we study this further we realize people are stuck here because they have multiple health issues that are unaddressed. Over 75-percent of the patients we serve have unaddressed mental health issues," said Allen.

The 400-thousand dollar project funded by the non-profit 'Dorothy's Place' and the City of Salinas has hit a 50-thousand dollar short fall.

"We're hoping once people are aware of what's going on and what were able to do for people and chronic homelessness they'll be able to chip in and help get the rest of the way," said Allen.

Regardless, the project is moving forward. 

"They are scheduled to complete the renovation on September 30th and we pledged to be open for operation on October 3rd, even if I have to be here over the weekend moving furniture myself."

Next Tuesday, September 6th, the center will be open to the general public from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

"We're conducting tours of the building and we are hoping folks will come out and see what we're doing with the homeless here and help us support it with the construction, and operating costs in the year's future," said Allen.

It's expected to cost 350-thousand dollars each year to keep the building open and staffed.

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