Today, the Mariposa
County Health and Human Services Agency will begin operating a very temporary 4-week
emergency shelter for homeless individuals in our community. The shelter will be well patrolled by the
Sheriff’s Office and have 24/7 staffing by Health and Human Services, Probation,
and Alliance employees. We are establishing a shelter at Darrah Road and Triangle
Road. We reviewed all possible county- and partner-owned properties and
selected the Darrah School site as it is available for immediate use while more
permanent solutions are being developed.
The Health and Human Services Agency, using state funding, will provide food and will offer transportation to and from town several times per day. Individuals staying at the shelter are undergoing intake processes and will be engaging with case managers to look for longer term housing solutions. These efforts are in response to a number of concerns:
- In a 9th Circuit Appellate court decision made in September (Martin v. Boise), the ruling firmly places responsibility upon counties/cities to provide emergency shelter if jurisdictions are moving people off of public lands or criminalizing sleeping in public places.
- At an October 26th Homeless Task Force meeting, it was determined that homeless living in Mariposa did not have access to shelter nor did they have access to appropriate sanitary facilities.
- On October 31st, our
Public Health Officer declared a Health Emergency to address the public health
concerns associated with homelessness. This temporary action mitigates risks by
conducting health screenings and providing appropriate sanitary facilities.
- The Public Health Emergency must,
however, be followed by a deliberation by our Board of Supervisors on November 5th to make decisions about longer term solutions including discussion of a “Shelter Crisis” declaration.
- With the upcoming winter, counties
are required to ensure that warming shelters are made available. An emergency shelter will ensure we are
meeting these requirements.
this effort is being provided through existing Health and Human Services
dollars, with no County General Fund. Additional funding available through the state
for a more long-term solution is being applied for.
Darrah School site will be a short-term solution for our Mariposans without a
home until a Shelter Crisis Declaration is deliberated and longer term