Extreme weather shelter now ready to open

A consortium of public and private organizations including several area churches, in cooperation with the McKinleyville Family Resource Center, has successfully arranged to have Extreme Weather Shelter in McKinleyville during the winter. The shelter system will provide indoor shelter for homeless individuals during extreme and potentially fatal weather conditions.
“The McKinleyville Family Resource Center (FRC) and local churches have been in regular contact with homeless individuals living in McKinleyville. These residents use tents, sleeping bags, cardboard structures, vegetation (bushes), and other means to secure shelter during inclement weather. These shelter options are not sufficient when the temperatures drop below freezing, especially when coupled with heavy precipitation – which creates potentially life-threatening conditions. We decided we needed to address this problem,” said Hillarie Beyer, Executive Director of the McKinleyville Family Resource Center.
According to Beyer, on shelter nights guests will be screened at the FRC, will use a portable shower being donated by Humboldt Sanitation and receive clean clothes. Guests will then have a meal provided by the Blue Lake Casino and ride in a van donated by the Blue Lake Casino to a the temporary shelter located at the Church of the Joyful Healer. Pads and sleeping bags donated by the Blue Lake Rancheria will be provided to guests overnight and in the morning the casino van will take them back to the McKinleyville FRC. Staffing costs are being covered by a grant from the Northcoast Grant Making Partnership.
“This shelter is only possible because of the amazing generosity of our donors,” observed Beyer, “But we still need more funding to help with laundry, supplies, and other expenses.”
Both men and women will be served by the shelter, which will open when the NOAA National Weather Service predicts temperatures at or below 34 degrees or at or below 36 with rain, and/or wind speeds in excess of 30 mph or create a wind chill factor of 34 degrees and/or more than an inch of rain overnight.
For more information about the Extreme Weather Shelter, contact Hillarie Beyer at (707) 840-0905
Donations are welcome and can be mailed to The McKinleyville Family Resource Center, 1450 Hiller Rd., McKinleyville, CA.