NORTH SAN JUAN, Calif. February 14, 2019 – Community members in North San Juan came together and organized a warming shelter for anyone in need after a social media post asked a simple question: “I am wondering why we can’t have some kind of warming shelter in NSJ? I am not sure if our homeless population is using the ones in town. Also if we would find a space would the county help pay for it?”
The ensuing discussion quickly included board members of the North San Juan Community Center who agreed to open the facility (formerly known as the AIC) as a warming shelter.
Unlike other cold weather shelters, no agency or non-profit is “in charge.” Locals have stepped up and are taking care of food, sleeping and clothing needs of the overnight guests. Plans are made in group discussions, flyers have been posted in the community.
With consecutive winter storms battering the area, there was no time to reach out to local government agencies and wait for funding. The volunteers are determined to keep the shelter up and running with the help of the community for now. They will be reaching out to Nevada County government to continue shelter operations in this disadvantaged part of Nevada County.
Sign up, volunteer or donate
The NSJ Community Center created a Google doc Volunteer Signup sheet where people can sign up to be an overnight host, provide dinner or breakfast items.
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The Center’s post further explains: “Hosting is an all night shift from 5:30 pm till 8:00 am roughly. To obtain this role, the host needs to be the perfect fit. To be considered please sign for the slot you’d like and you’ll be contacted. If you’d like to host and have conflicting timing, please communicate your needs and we can see what we come up with.”
The shelter, located at 29190 Hwy 49 in North San Juan, is open until next Thursday, February 21st. They could use donations of blankets, cots, winter wear, socks, etc. Financial donations to cover electricity and supplies are greatly appreciated. The Center can be reached at (480) 993-6487 or on Facebook.