On Tuesday November 26th, forecasted weather conditions triggered the opening of the Sierra Roots Weather Shelter. The weather conditions met criteria for the shelter to stay operational through Friday night. Building on the experience from previous years, significant improvements were made to the shelter operation including identifying a dedicated location and clarifying roles and responsibilities between Nevada City, Sierra Roots and the County. These improvements and the months of collaborative planning by the partners showed. The Sierra Roots Weather Shelter ran smoothly each night and was at capacity. Sierra Roots reported guest number over all four days of operation to be:
- Nov. 26th: 34 (including 3 veterans)
- Nov. 27th: 41 (including 4 veterans)
- Nov. 28th: 28
- Nov. 29th: 34 (including 2 veterans)
In addition to the Sierra Roots Weather Shelter, Hospitality House shelter was operating at capacity.
The Homeless Outreach and Medical Engagement (HOME) team played a supportive role in getting the Sierra Roots Weather Shelter operational by getting guests to and from the shelter, and connecting people to other services. Hospitality House's Homeless Access Transport (HAT) van assisted in the effort by transporting individuals to the shelter and picking up shelter guests each morning when the shelter closed for the day.
Over the course of the weather event, both the Sierra Roots Weather Shelter and the Hospitality House shelter hit capacity. Shelter staff coordinated with the HOME team to ensure that additional individuals and families who showed up at the shelters were not turned away into the cold. Between November 26th and Dec 1st, the HOME team worked into the night placing 16 people into a total of 11 motel rooms. Six motel placement requests were referred to the HOME team by Hospitality House and two from Sierra Roots Cold Weather Shelter. Three additional referrals came from community partners, two from 211 Connecting Point and one from the Sheriff's Department.
Weather Conditions for Sierra Roots Weather Shelter
For reference, weather conditions for opening the Sierra Roots Weather Shelter are as follows:
- Via the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services: National Weather Service's LOW temperature prediction for the City of Nevada City is forecasted to be at or below 30 degrees, for a period of 4 hours or more overnight; or
- National Weather Service LOW temperature prediction for the City of Nevada City is at or below 32 degrees, for a period of 4 hours or more overnight, with snow on the ground in Nevada City; or
- Via the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services: National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Western Nevada County for elevations at or below 3,000 feet.
- Any other extreme weather event or condition identified by the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services in consultation with Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency and City staff