The City of Modesto has a lot to be thankful for this year as the holidays approach. I’m reminded of our many accomplishments throughout the last year and the dedicated community and City staff who have made it all possible.
We’ve been through a lot since the start of the pandemic, but we’ve also grown as a City and as a community. It’s been amazing to see all the ways we’ve come together to support and sustain each other during this unprecedented time. Now that 2022 is just around the corner, we are excited and confident that even better things are ahead.
There are several initiatives in particular that employees and residents alike have collaborated on over the past year to make Modesto a better place:
• Forward Together, launched in June 2020, is an initiative to enhance public safety in Modesto. Members of the community have the opportunity to participate in both listening sessions and workgroup meetings to share feedback on the City’s policing efforts and identify ways to improve police-community relations as well as public safety.
• The CHAT Program, short for Community Health and Assistance Team, is a new response model for 911 emergency calls. The idea for the program was developed by the Modesto Police Department to better meet the needs of those suffering from mental health crises and other non-violent, non-criminal incidents. Today, a team of Outreach Specialists works to support those in the homeless community struggling with such issues and helps connect them to shelter and resources.
• Modesto Forward is a recovery strategy for programs and services impacted by COVID-19. Thanks to $45.89 million in America Rescue Plan Act funds, the City of Modesto has been able to invest in housing and homeless programs, public facilities, support for local businesses, support for mental healthcare needs, and various other initiatives. These measures are intended to boost the economy and improve the quality of life for the residents of Modesto now and for years to come.
• The Camp2Home (C2H) Program was created out of concern for the growing number of homeless in Modesto each year. It’s a path to sustainability for those experiencing homelessness, with a five-pronged approach that provides comprehensive job training and permanent employment to its participants. Since January of this year, seven C2H members have already secured employment.
• Regionalization of Fire Protection – Earlier this year, the City of Ceres’ fire protection services officially merged with the City of Modesto’s Fire Department to provide a regional approach to fire response. This is a true partnership between the cities of Ceres and Modesto that has already improved public safety and realized fiscal efficiencies.
• Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA) – By consolidating City of Modesto and Stanislaus County transit operations, we formed StanRTA, a regional transit agency. The merger provides more coordinated and efficient transit across the entire service area.
• 2021 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence – Operation 9-2-99 and the Dry Creek Trails Coalition, in partnership with the city, were recognized by the League of California Cities with an award of excellence. The honor acknowledges the outstanding volunteer efforts and innovations of these invaluable partners. Since 2014, we have transformed the Dry Creek Trail system and the Tuolumne River Regional Park into beautiful, sought-after places to visit.
These accomplishments are only a handful of examples that show how we can accomplish more by working together. I’m so proud to be a part of a city team of professionals who are actively creating an outstanding workplace, and who continually look for new ways to engage residents to make Modesto a great place to live.
On behalf of the mayor, city council and the executive team, we wish to thank both employees and members of Modesto’s community for your tireless efforts and incredible contributions in 2021. We are optimistic that 2022 will continue to bring new connections to strengthen Modesto.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays, Modesto!