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I have been very critical of the city of Arcata for allowing the homeless to spend nights in frigid weather, some of whom, such as Nancy Barnes and Rick Campos, have actually died ("Death at City Hall," Dec. 15).

We were delighted to hear Mayor Sarah Schaefer announce at the end of last Wednesday's city council meeting that Arcata House was opening an extreme weather shelter at their newly opened Grove Homekey site on Valley West!

Because Arcata House now has their own space and are not relying on churches, they are able to serve many more people: 61 folks from McKinleyville, Arcata, Eureka, etc. The shelter will be ongoing and will serve folks not only on cold nights but anytime we have two or more days of rain!

A huge thank you to Darlene Spoor, executive director of Arcata House Partnership, and her wonderful staff of social workers and volunteers! Also to the city of Arcata for whatever part they played in making this event happen!

That being said, Arcata, let's not sit back and rest on our laurels! There are still more people without a solid roof over their heads than are being presently served! We still need warming centers and overnight space opened up in other parts of the city. Again, the D Street Neighborhood Center and the Community Center on Martin Luther King Way have large rooms or a gym that could serve these purposes. Also we may need to find another organization that could run such shelters without putting an additional burden on Arcata House!

Nancy Pelletier, Arcata

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