Redwood Community Services, Inc. has been providing homeless services since 1999, when it piloted a transitional housing program for transition age youth. Since then RCS has expanded homeless services to provide housing navigation services, emergency shelter, day resource center, and permanent housing resources. RCS provides support to those facing and living in a housing crisis with a compassionate, person-centered, Housing First approach.
This means focusing first and foremost on housing needs and providing support to people who are navigating barriers to housing. RCS is an active member of the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC), working with community partners to ensure services are coordinated and effective.
Building Bridges—Homeless Resource Center
Building Bridges (B2) is a collaborative homeless resource center located in Ukiah designed to provide housing related services and safe shelter to people experiencing a housing crisis. Services are provided through a partnership of multiple community agencies. B2 operates from a low barrier perspective, minimizing barriers to services and shelter. B2 contains a day drop-in center, emergency shelter, and plans to develop on-site housing and other resources.
B2 Day Center
A daytime drop-in center open year-round. The Day Center will provide resources such as showers, restrooms, laundry; computers, internet access, charging station; mailing address, phone, & messaging center; connection to medical and other community services; linkage to mainstream resources such as CalFresh and CalWorks; peer support; groups, classes, workshops; community service opportunities; and a donation-based resource closet.
B2 Inland Winter Shelter
A nighttime emergency shelter open from November to April. Focuses on adults over the age of 18. The shelter prioritizes shelter beds for people most vulnerable and at risk on the street.
Coordinated Entry Access Point
The B2 Center in Ukiah is an Access Point for the MCHSCoC Coordinated Entry (CE) system. CE is a system that screens everyone who is experiencing homelessness and requests assistance to acquire housing. This standardized screening asks everyone the same questions to help prioritize assistance based on vulnerability and severity of needs to ensure that the people who need assistance the most are the ones who receive it. CE provides an entry point to eligible CE enrollees to various housing resources all over Mendocino County, such as Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing.
RCS Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) assistance provides help to individuals and families in Mendocino County who are literally homeless. It assists them with moving as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability through a combination of housing identification, rental assistance, and supportive services. Potential participants are selected through the MCHSCoC CE system, targeting those who are most likely to only need short- term housing assistance.
Housing Navigation Services
Housing Navigators work with people experiencing a housing crisis, both those who are currently unhoused and those who are at risk of becoming homeless, aiding them with acquiring and/or sustaining housing. These supportive services are provided primarily to those who are identified through CE as being the most vulnerable and at risk. Housing Navigation staff utilize a “progressive engagement” approach, offering “light- touch” assistance at first and increasing aid only as needed. Housing navigators develop relationships with landlords, striving to increase the pool of housing available to people with multiple housing barriers (i.e., no or bad rental history, criminal record, low income, etc.).
RCS provides supportive services to people who are at risk of losing their housing. Services could include landlord mediation, advocacy, and limited financial assistance when resources are available.