MENDOCINO Co., 11/23/21 — Freezing overnight temperatures and winter rains have arrived in Mendocino County, and in a change from previous years, the City of Fort Bragg will be offering motel vouchers for the coastal winter shelter. This comes after Hospitality House announced that it would no longer be operating a winter shelter this year.
The contract was approved by the city council on November 8, and Mendocino County has now finalized a contract that began November 15, which will provide motel vouchers during extreme weather situations for those who need shelter. These vouchers will be available through March 31, 2022 and will be issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department (FBPD). People seeking a voucher can contact FBPD by calling 707-961-2800 or going to 250 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg during business hours to check on eligibility and availability.
In comparison to the winter shelter in previous years, which set up a limited number of beds at rotating locations, the motel vouchers supplied by the city will “only be issued during severe weather events when all other emergency shelters are at capacity. Individuals are expected to share a double occupancy room and priority will be given to homeless families with children under the age of 16 and severely disabled individuals. The Fort Bragg Police Department will issue the vouchers the same day the weather is deemed severe due to heavy rains and/or lower than normal winter temperatures,” according to the announcement from the city.
Last year, Fort Bragg ultimately contracted with the Lutheran Church in December, 2020, after difficulty in securing a location when freezing temperatures had arrived. The shelter opened for the winter on January 1, 2021. Subsequently, the shelter moved to the Mendocino Coast Jewish Community shul.
Here’s the announcement from the City of Fort Bragg:
November 19, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITY CONTRACTS WITH THE COUNTY TO OPERATE EXTREME WEATHER SHELTER THIS WINTER
At the November 8th regular City Council meeting, the City Council approved a contract with Mendocino County to operate an Extreme Weather Shelter starting November 15, 2021. The City began discussing options for a Winter Weather Shelter in early September after learning that the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center would no longer operate its Winter Shelter.
Due to limited budget, this season’s Shelter will operate only during extreme weather conditions and will utilize local motel vouchers to provide shelter on an as-needed basis. The contract with Mendocino County provides that vouchers will only be issued during severe weather events when all other emergency shelters are at capacity. Individuals are expected to share a double occupancy room and priority will be given to homeless families with children under the age of 16 and severely disabled individuals. The Fort Bragg Police Department will issue the vouchers the same day the weather is deemed severe due to heavy rains and/or lower than normal winter temperatures.
Mayor Bernie Norvell would like to thank those individuals who helped him pull this together so quickly and at a considerably reduced cost: Police Chief John Naulty, Police Captain Thomas O’Neal, Camille Schraeder and staff from Redwood Community Services, City Manager Tabatha Miller, Mendocino County Social Services Director Bekkie Emery, Supervisor Ted Williams, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center Executive Director Paul Davis and community members Reverend Randy Knutson, Linda Jo Sterns and Eve Nightswonger.
Motel Vouchers will be available from November 15, 2021 through March 31, 2022, during extreme weather events, as long as funding last. To check whether the Extreme Weather Shelter is available on any given night or to determine eligibility, please contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 961-2800 or in person during business hours at 250 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg, CA.
Questions regarding the Extreme Weather Shelter should be directed to the Police Department at (707) 961-2800.