Where we've been and what we've done...
Established in 1986, in the garage of our Founder and Senior Director, Dr. Craig Turley, The Blessing Center began as a small food bank program serving impoverished families living in the Inland Valley Region of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. In November of 1998, during a trip to Arad, Romania Craig was led to return home and "gift" the food bank to "The Church" and the community of the City of Redlands, CA. In a leap of faith he rented a 3,000 sq.ft. building, and with the help of a small team of volunteers, filled the shelves with food and blankets and Joseph's Storehouse Food Bank and Resource Center was brought into being!
Through a series of miraculous events, and with the help and generosity of many people in the community, in 2008 the operation was relocated to a 10,000 sq.ft. facility which then became known as The Blessing Center. This allowed for the addition of many more programs and services reaching the most distressed and needy families in our region.
Joseph's Storehouse Food Bank grew tremendously and during the last 8 years of operation over 1.6 million pounds of food was distributed ANNUALLY to over 6,000 families coming from over 22 communities in the two county region - Fontana to Cabazon, Perris to Victorville. Families received $75 to $100 worth of high quality food products each week equating to at least $300 in food savings which enabled these low and very low income families to pay their rent and continue living in their homes. A total of between 250 and 350 food boxes were distributed 3 days each week with the help of hundreds of faithful and dedicated volunteers. We worked hard to PREVENT homelessness in our region.
New Hope Free Clinic, opened it's doors in 2010 to provide the highest quality medical and dental health care services, in a state-of-the-art facility and in the most loving and caring environment. M.O.U.s were created with local teaching institutions to provide adjunct faculty and student health care providers including Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing and Cal Baptist University School of Nursing among others.
The Resource Center was created to offer a multitude of classes and programs to any individual seeking to become fully employed and financially self-sufficient. G.E.D. classes, E.S.L. classes, Computer Skills classes, tutoring, resume writing, interview training and job seeker assistance. We conducted dozens of Job Fairs working with local businesses that came on-site to direct hire out of our pool of pre-qualified candidates, Over the course of the last 10 years, hundreds of motivated individuals have found gainful employment - any for the first time. It is our goal to assist employable people experience the joy and satisfaction of finding a good paying job that financially sustains themselves and their families.
In The Clothing Room literally tons of new and gently used clothing was distributed monthly to needy families and children who could shop for items each week.
Hannah's House of Hope opened its doors in 2010, as an off-site transitional home for homeless and at-risk children and their mothers in a six bedroom property in the City of Redlands. During the last 9 years of operation over 60 adult women and children have found a safe, stable, secure and loving environment to begin their personal healing and rebuilding process.
The H.O.P.E. Re-entry Program was created in response to the need for parolees and probationers released through the State of California A.B. 109, S.B. 47 and S.B.57 early prisoner release initiatives to get off the streets as quickly as possible. The Blessing Center was asked by the County of San Bernardino to become the Day Reporting Center for the City of Redlands. Classes consisting of 7 need focused modules were conducted with course completion certificates to enable these men and women a fast-track towards successful re-integration and a hopeful future.
Aid to AIDS Families was begun to meet the unique needs of families living with one or both parents experiencing the hardship of HIV/AIDS. Food and other household necessities were transported by caring and compassionate volunteers to these family's homes on a case management basis.
The Asylum Seekers Program was created to address the influx of Pakistani, Bengali, Egyptian and other Middle Eastern families arriving in our region fleeing religious and political persecution in their native countries. Food, clothing, household items, furniture and vehicles were provided along with assistance in filing their immigration paperwork.
The Legal Aid Program provided much needed legal assistance, free of charge, to individuals and families unable to afford the cost of an attorney. Hundreds of clients were provided help in legal their filings and legal documents.
We are currently in the process of relocating The Blessing Center operations into a new facility in Redlands.