Cold weather, especially over an extended period of time, takes a heavy toll on the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members in our community.
Recently, a small household in Eureka, made its garage available as a safe sleeping space for people with no shelter. The household and a group of friends (many PEOPLE PROJECT folks) organized the space in response to the dangerous weather and police conditions on the street. It was actually quite simple. Prior to opening the safe sleeping space, we discussed how we thought it would work best. One of the things decided beforehand was that we would make the space available for 11 nights (December 21-31), and would be explicit about that time frame, so that people sleeping there could depend on a stable schedule.
At this time, opening your home or some covered space is imperative. We were so grateful for the garage, and all went well. Being only a temporary situation, we are reaching out to you, asking you to open your garage, yard, or big room for whatever time you decide is possible.
We imagine a rotating emergency sleeping space.
We have found that when a community cooperates and shares in the protection of its most vulnerable members, the result is a vital sense of security experienced by all.
The people who recently shared their garage and those of us who supported and helped coordinate that emergency shelter space are available to talk with you about our experiences. We are eager to assist you in many ways if you are able to open up a sleeping space.
Ways we can assist you include: collecting floor padding, blankets, sleepware, and other necessary warm things (the garage just used had a cement floor); driving folks who need a ride to and from the space; and being present in the sleeping space overnight. The volunteer-run PARC (Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community) in Old Town Eureka fully supports the creation of temporary or permanent dignified community sleeping spaces. PARC is available, for any set-up you may provide, as a phone contact, a donation drop-off, and a dedicated resource for people offering or utilizing a safe shelter.
People can and do freeze to death in cold or wet or windy weather.. here we have all three at once. And the police continue to harass people and ruin their gear in the rain and cold. Please call and/or email if you want to talk about opening a space up yourself. It is freezing at night, and we can make a way through these hard times together.
Please Call PARC: (707) 442-7465
The following are the guidelines that were posted on the inside of the garage. You may have some different ideas for your place. We believe that emphasizing honor, dignity, and relationship makes for a truly “safe space.”
\\\\\ WELCOME ///////////////////////////
This is a hate-free space. that means…
NO racism, sexism, homophobia, etc
* please no physical or verbal violence
* smaller room is for women only
* bigger room in is for all
To protect this safe sleeping space…
– no drinking alcohol or doing drugs (including pot) here
– use lights, not candles
– every night, come through front house door when you first arrive;
then use the front gate to go in/out.
– use bathroom in the house (walk in back door, then to right)
– quiet after 9pm, and during cigarette breaks
You are welcome to sleep here…
– every night through the night of Dec 31st.
– Please come in no earlier than 6pm and no later than 10:30pm
-mornings, out by 9am please
Please do not leave your belongings here,
as no-one is here to protect them
Please communicate theses guide-lines with newcomers
If you need anything, please feel free to ask.