Press Release: Street Medicine Program is Launched in Fort Bragg

The Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, in partnership with Mendocino Coast Clinics and
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, announces the establishment of a “Street Medicine” program in
Fort Bragg to more effectively deliver health care services to homeless people in our
community. The intent of the Street Medicine program is to screen and refer for medical and
mental health issues, provide health education, reduce emergency room visits and help
homeless people overcome the barriers that make it difficult to access health care resources
and services.

In Ukiah, where a Street Medicine program has been operating for two years, the hospital has
seen a significant drop in emergency room visits. Dr. Noemi “Mimi” Doohan, the medical
director of Ukiah’s street medicine program explains “There is an economic, societal and a
business argument for street medicine. There are societal costs for people being on the street.
It’s far more expensive to go into intensive care rather than primary care… We’re bringing
health care to people when and where they need it, instead of waiting for them to end up in
the ER when they’re dying. This is prevention.”

Starting Wednesday, May 16th, the Street Medicine program will offer drop-in hours every
Wednesday from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Hospitality Center at 101 North Franklin Street. Folks
can drop-in to meet with the Street Medicine Team - a nurse, a case manager, and a mental
health rehabilitation specialist. Funding for these positions is being provided by Adventist
Health Ukiah Valley Hospital; they will be employees of the Mendocino Coast Clinics, working
collaboratively with the staff and providers of the walk-in clinics.

The intent of the program is to provide health care screenings and help individuals get
connected with primary care providers at Mendocino Coast Clinic as appropriate. While initially
Street Medicine services can be accessed at the Hospitality Center, the hope is that, in the
future, backpack teams will be able to provide services to homeless people on the street and in

For more information about this press release, please contact Linda Jo Stern at 617-435-8412 or

Fort Bragg’s Street Medicine team in front of drop-in clinic at Hospitality Center, 101 N. Franklin Street. From left to right: Matt Winslow, Faith Simon, Linda Jo Stern, Janette Ornelas

Fort Bragg’s Street Medicine team in front of drop-in clinic at Hospitality Center, 101 N. Franklin Street. From left to right: Matt Winslow, Faith Simon, Linda Jo Stern, Janette Ornelas

Press Release: Assemblyman Jim Wood comes to Hospitality Center to present Kristina Harju with the Community Champion Award

As one way to highlight the good deeds and hard work of our neighbors, Assemblyman Jim Wood’s office features a “Community Champion” every month. The champion can be an individual, a group, an organization or a business that makes us proud to be a part of the community we live in.

This month's Community Champion is Kristina Harju. She is the Programs Manager for the nonprofit Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) and oversees most of its programs, including the Hospitality Center’s mental health wellness and homelessness services, and Transitional Housing.

Kristina was born and raised in Fort Bragg. She overcame her own mental health challenges, trauma, substance abuse and homelessness through utilizing many local services including those of the MCHC.

During the past few years Kristina has risen through the ranks at MCHC through her hard work and perseverance, and always with compassion shining through all her work. She has sought out opportunities to increase her knowledge through study and has spent many weekends traveling to mental health recovery classes. As a result, Kristina has brought two well-regarded courses to the MCHC, which she facilitates, that were not available on the Mendocino coast before – “NAMI Peer-to-Peer" and "Wellness Recovery Action Plan."

Kristina is at the heart of the services to the homeless and mentally ill in Fort Bragg and a tireless advocate for those in need. She coaches and mentors her own staff. Kristina also knows how important it is to have performance statistics on the center’s services and spends countless hours completing data reports without a word of complaint.

Kristina is a role model for others. She is a quiet-spoken and modest person who is an unsung hero in our community.

In her home life Kristina is raising her daughter and caring for her elderly mother in their downtown Fort Bragg home. Her faith is a strong element of her life.

Assemblyman Jim Wood will be presenting the award at the Hospitality Center at 11.30am on August 4th, 2017. The Assemblyman will also get to meet the new tenants of the Hospitality Center Transitional Housing on the second floor.

Hospitality Center is located at 101 N. Franklin Street in Fort Bragg (Tel 707 961 0172), and is part of the nonprofit “Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center”.

Lara Anderson Fills New Position at Hospitality House

Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center is delighted to welcome Lara Anderson to our staff! Lara has recently been hired as the new Shelter Manager to oversee and run the Hospitality House homeless shelter. Lara has a wide range of experience in providing and managing social services on the coast of Mendocino. She has previously worked for many nonprofits and for Mendocino County in Adult Protective Services and in the county’s In-Home Supportive Services Quality Assurance Program.

Lara said: “The Hospitality House shelter and meals programs are at the heart of our local safety net here in Fort Bragg and I am so happy to be able to help people in need in our community.”

The Hospitality House shelters up to 24 people every single day of the year, as well as providing showers, laundry and meals to anyone who is hungry in our community. Donations are always welcome. As well as financial donations, the Hospitality House relies on gifts of food, toiletries, towels and twin-size bed linens.

Donations are gratefully received at the Hospitality House at 237 N. McPherson Street, Fort Bragg.   To reach us at the Hospitality House, call (707) 961 1150.  Thank you for all your support.

Press Release: Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) is in receipt of a Notice of Potential Violation of Use Permit

Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) is in receipt of a Notice of Potential Violation of Use Permit related to the Hospitality House homeless shelter.

Each of the alleged violations are unfounded and will be contested by Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center.  Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center looks forward to the opportunity to set these allegations to rest with the assistance of Disability Rights California which is California’s Protection and Advocacy System and works to advance dignity, equality, independence and freedom for all Californians with disabilities.  MCHC is honored to have assistance from Disability Rights California.



On the first of March, the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center sent out an appeal to the community asking for support so that we would have the funding necessary to keep our Extreme Weather Shelter open during inclement weather until the end of our EWS season April 15, 2017.  The very next day donations, large and small, started coming in from individuals, organizations and churches.


We are pleased to announce that due to this incredible outpouring of support and generosity from this community, we have reached our goal.  As of last Friday, we have received $20,060 in EWS donations.  We project that this amount should cover all EWS expenses for the remainder of the season.  If any donations are remaining in the fund after the closure of EWS in April, those monies will be carried over to help start next year’s Emergency Weather Shelter.


This success reflects the coastal community’s compassion and support for the issues of homelessness; the need to shelter those who remain vulnerable to hypothermia when they do not have a place of protection during our cold and rainy coastal nights.  


Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center is most grateful to our community for all their support as together we strive to help those in need of shelter, food and a path to personal self-sufficiency.  Our non-profit organization looks forward to working with and serving this community in this capacity for many more years.   Thank you very much for your support.

Community Liaison

Community members are warmly encouraged to contact Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center. Please do also report any shopping carts which you would like to have collected and returned to the store.

During business hours (8.30am-12pm and 1pm-5pm, Monday through Friday), please call Hospitality Center on (707) 961 0172 x 1020 and speak to Administrative Staff (Pam Morgan, Kristina Harju, Mari Haddox, James Gibney).

Outside office hours please call Hospitality House on 707 961 1150 and speak to the House Manager.

You are also welcome to email Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center at





The Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center is thrilled to announce that, due to the generosity of many members of our coastal community, we were able to reopen the Extreme Weather Shelter (EWS) on Monday night.  While we had hoped to keep the EWS open last weekend, we were forced to close it because all EWS funds were expended.  We have now reopened thanks to these donations.

The EWS provides food and a place to sleep for those who are homeless when the temperature is below 40 degrees and/or the probability of rain is greater than 30%.  When open, the EWS has sheltered between 10 and 25 persons per night during extreme weather conditions. Between November 15th and February 27th, the shelter was open 86 nights and served 132 individuals.  The very wet, cold winter has required the EWS to be open more often this season than in past years.

Operating funds for the EWS come from private donations and the County. On top of that, MCHC is most grateful to the area's Faith Community who donate shelter space throughout the EWS season (from November15, 2016 - April 15, 2017).

As a result of these substantial gifts from our community, the EWS is able to remain open to those in need of a meal and shelter during our cold and rainy nights. MCHC is thankful for our compassionate and generous community.  If you would like to make a donation to help keep the Extreme Weather Shelter open, please make your check payable to the Mayor’s Fund and mail it to P.O. Box 2859, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. Any donations remaining in the Mayor’s Fund after closure of the EWS in April will be carried forward for next winter’s EWS.




Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center’s Extreme Weather Shelter is within days of closing due to lack of operating funds. The Extreme Weather Shelter feeds and houses between 10 and 25 people nightly when it is extremely cold and/or rainy outside. The Shelter’s operation is dependent on private donations, County grants and the facilities offered by the area’s Faith Community.
All available funds are nearly exhausted as a result of the many days of bad weather this winter
and much higher numbers of people sheltered. The Extreme Weather Shelter will cease to operate within a matter of days unless additional funding is obtained. County staff is actively seeking additional funds.  If you would like to make a donation to help keep the Extreme Weather Shelter open on cold and rainy nights, please make your check payable to the Mayor’s Fund and mail it to P.O. Box 2859, Fort Bragg, CA 95437.

2016/17 Stats

Nights Open 11/14/16-2/24/17: 84
Female Bed Nights: 242
Male Bed Nights: 964
Individuals Served: 132


Extreme Weather Shelter Ends 2015-16 Season

The Extreme Weather Shelter (EWS) closed April 18th 2016 for the winter season.  Opening November 16th 2015, the EWS experienced its most demanding season – open more nights, serving more meals and sheltering more people than ever before.
The EWS serves a homeless population who cannot be housed at Hospitality House because it is full. There is no requirement to be “clean and sober”.  When the shelter is open, these people gather at Hospitality House are fed, may do their laundry or shower and are transported to the host faith community.  The faith community donates their facilities for the overnight shelter.  In the morning the guests are transported back to Hospitality House for breakfast.  A Hospitality House staff member, a supervisor accompanies the guests at all times.
The predicted “El Nino” prompted a revision when the EWS was opened this winter season.  In past years if the predicted temperature was 36 degrees or below, or the probability of rain greater than 50%, the shelter opened.  In December the criteria changed to 40 degrees or below and a probability of rain greater than 20%.  Signs, the website and area businesses, and a voice message gave the public information of the “opening” daily.
The EWS was open 87 nights accommodating 140 individuals.   Many were regulars, others stayed a single night while passing through Fort Bragg.  An average night found 14 men and 4 women at the shelter.  The women were lodged at Hospitality House.  On occasion this required use of local motels. 
Sheltered guests ate approximately 3000 meals, took 860 showers and used the laundry facilities 575 times.
A detailed Operating Statement appears below.  The cost of running the EWS was met by donations to the Mayor’ Fund and a $30,000 grant from the County.   $5,484 remains to start the 2016-17 EWS season.  
MCHC is most appreciative of the local faith communities who provided the shelter.  The Mendocino Coast Jewish Community in Caspar and First Presbyterian in Fort Bragg combined for half of the nights the shelter was open.  We thank you.

Building permit issued for 101 upgrades

A big thanks to the incredible efforts of our architect Bob Schlosser and contractor Fort Bragg Electric, Bill and Mark Mertle. Our 101 N. Franklin Street project has a permit and work will be commencing shortly!

And another piece of great news, "MCHC also received the asbestos and lead paint inspection report on 101 N. Franklin from the contractor licensed to do that specific type of inspection."

No asbestos was found in the building.  There was a very minimal amount of lead paint identified, which is normal in old buildings, and will be addressed by our general contractor who is lead certified.  

Press Release: Mark Ragins MD, lauded psychiatrist, comes to the Hospitality Center!

Mark Ragins, MD, is the Medical Director at the Mental Health America Village Integrated Service Agency in Long Beach, California, an award winning model of recovery based mental health care.  He has worked there since its beginning in 1990 as a psychiatrist for the adult mental health and homeless assistance programs.  His practice and vision have been grounded in more than 20 years of ongoing clinical work with some of the most undeserved and difficult to engage people in our community. Over the years Mark has won a number of awards including being selected as a distinguished fellow by the American Psychiatric Association. In 2011 he received the John Beard award for his outstanding lifetime contribution to psychiatric rehabilitation. In 2013 NAMI California selected him as their recovery practitioner of the year.

Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) has the immense pleasure of hosting Dr Ragins for a two day training, funded by Mendocino County. Dr Ragins brings expertise which speaks to the heart of the Hospitality Center model, as his project “The Village” brings together mental health recovery services, access to clinical care, and homelessness services, in a downtown location aiming at community integration. “The Village” even has a deli as a vocational training program, so similar to MCHC’s upcoming coffee shop!

Dr Ragins training is scheduled for April 5th and 6th 2016, and is open to anyone involved with mental health in our county: consumers, family members, professionals, other agencies. The training is free, and it is an amazing opportunity to participate in “state of the art” training in mental health recovery. Both days will have a catered lunch provided by clients of MCHC. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get access to this first rate mental health training from a nationally renowned psychiatrist, right here in Fort Bragg.

To register, go to

Submitted by Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center

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