Cold Weather Opens Shelter Doors for Homeless on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night in SoHum

frost on autumn leaf

Stock photo by Kym Kemp

As record cold temperatures push thermometers down, emergency weather shelters for the homeless opened their doors this Christmas weekend. Peg Anderson, who works with the homeless, said that two churches in Southern Humboldt provided warm shelter to those in need.

“I want to thank both the churches,” Anderson said. “They have been wonderful and generous.”

There were eleven staying in the shelter last night and five on Christmas Eve, she said. Temperatures are not expected to drop below 34 degrees today which is the cutoff for the shelter opening so none of those sheltered over the weekend will be able to stay inside.

Anderson said her group is looking for people to help, money, and men’s jackets as well as other places to offer shelter for the homeless. “It is difficult to line up volunteers,” she said.

Community members have been contributing money to an account at the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt and have been donating food and supplies. But she could always use more money to buy hygiene supplies, sleeping bags, mats and insurance to cover the churches when they are being used as a shelter.

“I do need men’s jackets [also],” she said. “I don’t have enough large jackets. There is a jacket drive at Chautauqua, if people want to put [donations] there.’

Anderson also said that her group is looking for other sites that have a warm place they would like to offer. Currently, the Presbyterian Church on Locust in Garberville and the First Baptist Church on Redway Drive in Redway have provided shelter. “The churches have been happy with the volunteers and the work they’ve done,” she said. However, it is good to have more options.

Anderson is also looking for ways to transport those in need from Garberville to Redway when the shelter is open there.

For those that would like to volunteer to help at the emergency shelter, contact or call (707) 223-3679.

Contributions can be made at the Community Credit Union using account number 17721.

“The ultimate goal,” Anderson said, “is to find a place to put a sanctuary camp where people can have their things and be safe.”



  • Rosemarie von Boomhower

    Those frosty leaves are just like the weather here in Sacramento. It’s been very, very cold here at night.

  • NOT a good morning to wake after the GAS RAN OUT! No heat of any kind!!! I count on Blue Star to keep the tank filled. Maybe it’s a sudden leak but doubtful.
    Anyone else have problems with gas companies screwing up and not filling your tank in time???!!?

    • You just call them and they will be there!!

      • Right RR. I did and they were. Blue Star came though! Nice!
        Apparently the device to indicate when I needed a refill had failed. Now just hope that info gets to billing, so I don’t get an ’emergency refill’ charge.

  • Forecast I saw predicts a low of 31* tonight in Redway. Seems the shelters need to stay open one more night of freezing cold weather.

  • We need a permanent winter shelter.its cold all winter❄

  • NOAA says 33 tonight in Redway.. it’s a sad that a few degrees dictates when the church will offer shelter. Anything below 40 is uncomfortably cold around here, we have a wet cold, I’ve been told by my relatives from Tahoe and Alaska that it feels colder here then when it’s in the teens there. I appreciate the Church doing what they can, but tonight will be cold, lets all donate to coat drive bin at Chataqua and the socks drive at Feather Rose that the SHLOP have been helping with. At least then they can have the cold gear to help them not freeze when there’s no shelter.

  • Ya, cold in Redway. Good luck, till May or so… Go over to Jerold Phelps Hospital, ask them if your room is ready, and for a sandwich and a shower…

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