Whew! It looks like a temporary emergency winter homeless shelter will be provided at the Guerneville Veterans Hall thanks to the efforts of West County Community Services, our local Veteran’s Connect, the Veteran’s Administration, & other homeless advocates. I hope this means that some other community group besides the Russian River Interfaith Coalition (RRIC) may emerge to address homeless issues on the Russian River & that this new group can accomplish something.
I don't mean to disrespect the folks at the Russian River Interfaith Coalition (RRIC) since I know they're sincere & have several friends & acquaintances who've worked hard for them in the past. Even yours truly helped a little with last year's pasta dinner fundraiser for the emergency shelter in Hubert Hall. But as I mentioned in my last posting, something's seriously wrong with RRIC.
Also, Efren Carrillo our 5th District Supervisor Elect does have some knowledge & experience about homeless issues & hopefully he’ll be able to work with us more effectively than Mike Reilly has been able to do.
Alas, an acquaintance of mine who attended recent meetings of the Russian River Fire Protection District (RRFPD) & the RRIC emergency meeting (to deal with the lack of a shelter) has informed me that the possibility of a homeless shelter at the Rio Nido Fire Station is “still on the table”. Not only that, but rumor has it that some people at RRIC want to make it PERMANENT! This looks highly unlikely, because Sam Barnhard from Catholic Charities – who would have run the proposed emergency shelter in Rio Nido – stated during the December 4 RRIC meeting that he would decline to do so because of all the local opposition.
Nonetheless, it looks like we folks in Rio Nido will need to stay on our toes.
Rumor has it that an important member of the RRFPD’s Board of Directors is involved with the people at RRIC or at least supportive of their agenda. Hmph. This could make it awfully hard for Fire Chief Sean Grinnell to get his proposed (& desperately-needed) tax hike through. Also, I have been informed that RRIC's emergency meeting was sparsely attended.