Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Fort Bragg’s Extreme Winter Shelter Closes for the Season After Police Department Issues 339 Vouchers


The following is a press release issued by the Fort Bragg Police Department:

A Fort Bragg Police Cruiser [Photograph by Judy Valado]

Today we are announcing the closure of this year’s Extreme Winter Shelter.

At the November 8, 2021 regular City Council meeting, Mayor Bernie Norvell presented the City Council a proposed contract with Mendocino County to operate an Extreme Weather Shelter starting November 15, 2021, the City Council unanimously approved this contract.

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.

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. This became an issue with several community members and organizations, believing persons in need of extreme weather shelter would not go to the Police Department to obtain a voucher. Contrary to these concerns, the Police Department provided vouchers to 339 persons in need.

In years past, it has always been an issue with who would host the shelter and the search for volunteers, causing delays opening the shelter. I am happy to report the shelter opened on time, November 15, 2021 and we were able to keep the shelter open an extra month, through April 26, 2022.

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We would like to thank those individuals who helped put this program together so quickly and at a considerably reduced cost: Mayor Norvell, former City Manager Tabatha Miller, Mendocino County Social Services Director Bekkie Emery, Supervisor Ted Williams, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center Executive Director Paul Davis, Fort Bragg Police office staff member D’Ann Garcia, who was tasked with tracking all the vouchers for reimbursement, and Fort Bragg Police officers/staff who went beyond their regular duties to assist with properly documenting all of the paperwork each night the shelter was open. At times we had to 13 to 15 persons at one time in the lobby requesting vouchers.

We would like to give a huge shout out to Motel Six Manager Calvin Pierce, who worked
diligently to provide rooms during the extreme weather. Without these rooms provided by Motel Six, this would not have been such a successful program. Calvin also gained support from the Motel Six Corporate Office for this program.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
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