Update: Ukiah’s emergency homeless shelter, slated to close April 1, will stay open til April 15.

Shelter on South State Street in Ukiah closes funding shortfall.

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UKIAH 3/17/2017 —  UPDATE 3/22/2017* — The emergency homeless shelter in Ukiah will stay open until April 15, as originally planned.  The board of the Homeless Services Action Group, which runs the temporary homeless shelter at 1045 South State Street in Ukiah, decided last Thursday to close the shelter two weeks early, on April 1, rather than April 15. The facility had $10,000 shortfall in payroll funding.  According to Kael Loftus, one of the Ukiah Valley Medical Center’s representatives to HSAG, “The Board decided it had to plan operations based on the funds available on-hand, so the closure date was moved up two weeks.”

However, on March 21, Maya Stuart, a program administrator at the Health and Human Services Agency, said in an email that “Yesterday Redwood Quality Management Services offered the 10k for the shelter to be able to stay open through the 15th as originally hoped. The 15th was chosen because the 16th is the last day of our occupancy permit.”

The Homeless Services Action Group (HSAG) is a non-profit organization made up of representatives from several social services providers and Ukiah residents, made the decision at its board meeting yesterday.

The shelter, which opened on December 15, is supported by Ukiah Valley Medical Center, the City of Ukiah, the County of Mendocino, the Health and Human Services Agency of Mendocino County, the Community Foundation, Sheriff Tom Allman, and several private donations. The shelter offers beds on a first-come, first-serve basis, with guests registering at Plowshares, a nearby soup kitchen.

In an email, Loftus wrote “Given that the last two Inland Valley Emergency Winter Shelters harbored roughly 45 persons each season, which represents a fraction of the local homeless population during the winter season here, it is safe to say Ukiah Valley will continue to have a need for a winter emergency shelter. How that will be implemented next winter remains to be seen, but it will likely be a collaborative effort, as it has been for the last two winters.”

The Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, which expected to close its extreme weather shelter last month, received a $10,000 anonymous donation after announcing that it would have to close its doors due to a shortage of funds.

* This article has been updated to reflect the change in plans for the date of closing the shelter.

Sarah Reith sreith@mendovoice.com

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