Lim­ited space in area shel­ters

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ruth Sch­nei­der rschnei­der@times-stan­dard.com

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.

SHAUN WALKER – THE TIMES­STAN­DARD FILE

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.

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