UKIAH, November 16, 2016 -- In response to the impending cold and wet weather and the lack of a year-round shelter, local organizations and agencies have collaborated to develop an emergency winter shelter, scheduled to open in December.
The Inland Valley Emergency Winter Shelter for the Homeless, proposed at the rear unit of 1045 South State Street in Ukiah, would be open for approximately six months and would provide safe, supervised shelter for the most vulnerable of the area’s general homeless population.
This effort is coordinated by the Homeless Services Action Group (HSAG), with funding and resources contributed by the Ukiah Valley Medical Center, the City of Ukiah, the County of Mendocino, the Health and Human Services Agency of Mendocino County, the Community Foundation, Sheriff Tom Allman, and other community members.
The proposed shelter would be open seven days a week from 6 PM to 8 AM. It would provide more than 40 beds, shower and bathroom facilities, as well as crates for homeless pets and a state-of-the-art kennel, loaned by Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman.
Ukiah Police Chief Chris Dewey has expressed support for the emergency shelter:
"I am really appreciative of the people who are working to make this happen. It is essential to have a shelter during the winter weather for the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable population." –UPD Chief Chris Dewey
Organizers report that the South State Street location is ideal due to the close proximity to Plowshares, the Hillside Health Clinic and the Department of Social Services. A bus stop is also located onsite.
The emergency shelter will also be served by UVMC’s Street Medicine Program, which provides medical services onsite, whether that be at the shelter, at Plowshares, or literally on the street.
Mendocino County Program Administrator Maya Stuart, hired in September to support the efforts of the HSAG, shared, “Our hope is that providing a clean, warm place to sleep with easy access to services will keep our inland homeless safe, and off of people’s porches.”
As the concern over loitering near businesses increases with the change in weather, the ability to provide even a short-term solution is expected to benefit not only the shelter clients, but the businesses community as well.
For additional information about the Inland Valley Emergency Winter Shelter for the Homeless, please contact Aeolian Vincent-dePaule, Executive Director of HSAG, at (707) 489-3807 or AeolianMixolydian@gmail.com .
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