Limited space in area shelters
With temperatures dipping below freezing this week, extreme weather shelters are finding it hard to find room for those who need to get out of the cold.
The Eureka Rescue Mission has to turn away several women on Tuesday night, said executive director Bryan Hall on Wednesday morning.
“At the men’s side, we still have a little bit of room,” he said. “The women’s side was absolutely packed. There were some ladies who were coming who we had to turn away. It would be nice to have another place to send them to.”
There are limited choices for those who are homeless on icy nights.
“Arcata House Partnership typically has an extreme weather shelter and the Eureka Rescue Mission tends to make room for people, especially on these cold nights,” said Christine Messinger, a spokesperson for the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human
Services, in an email.
DHHS runs a winter shelter program that operates from Nov. 18 to March 20, she added.
“It provides short-term lodging for homeless families and elderly and/or disabled people,” she said. “It is a scatteredsite model, which means people tend to be lodged in their own communities throughout the county. It is primarily first come, first served, although people are also prioritized based on need.”
More than 1,470 unsheltered
people were counted in Humboldt County during this year’s Point-in-Time count, according to results from the Jan. 23 count of people experiencing homelessness.
This year’s count showed the largest number of unsheltered people in Eureka, followed by the Arcata-Manila area, the Garberville-Redway-Benbow area and McKinleyville.
Hall said there are a host of other services available to those who stay at the mission including access to social services and mental health services. There are also meals and showers available.
Local homeless advocate Betty Chinn has a limited number of spaces available for those who are seeking respite from the cold, but she said people need to call the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center at 707-407-3833 before 3 p.m. to secure a spot. She said Wednesday night she would have 15 beds available and that Tuesday night there was a full house.
“We’ve been open for the people coming in,” she said Wednesday noting that even local law enforcement brought in a person needing a warm place to stay on Tuesday night.
Chinn said her service will be available any nights when it is cold.
Arcata House Partnership could not be reached by the publishing deadline.
There are three locations where people can apply for the winter shelter program, Messinger said. Screening interviews take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
• Eureka: DHHS office at 929 Koster St.
• Hoopa: K’ima:w Medical Center, 535 Airport Road
• Garberville: DHHS office at 727 Cedar St.
The Eureka Rescue Mission is one of the only organizations in the county to provide emergency shelter for those in need when the cold winter weather sets in.