Jessica Cejnar / Monday, Jan. 13 @ 5:41 p.m. / Community
New Nonprofit Pursues 24-Hour Rescue Mission, Hopes To Have Full-Time Shelter Open By 2021
A new non profit organization hopes to start running a full-time rescue mission in Del Norte County with temporary shelter and a connection to services for those most in need.
Del Norte Mission Possible is working to upgrade the Our Daily Bread building at 1135 Harrold Street. The organization has a new board of directors that met for the first time in November and has received engineering plans for installing sprinklers at the building Friday.
Spearheaded by Daphne Lambert, Del Norte Mission Possible will take over Our Daily Bread’s use permit to be an emergency shelter by June. By 2021, Lambert says she hopes to be an “every-day open shelter.”
This also includes becoming a way for people in need to obtain job training and job skills, healthcare and even vet care for their animals, Lambert told the Wild Rivers Outpost.
But, she said, Our Daily Bread isn’t going away.
“I am very appreciative to Mike Justice and the foundation he built at Daily Bread,” Lambert said. “We’re just working in respectful agreement to help the community in a greater way.”
Lambert, who was the program coordinator for Our Daily Bread, said she was continually hearing that the religious aspect Our Daily Bread was becoming a barrier for people needing services.
The faith-based nonprofit had been pursuing a use permit with the county for about three years, Lambert said.
Our Daily Bread partners with the Social Services, Behavioral Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs branches to offer services to clients. Though Our Daily Bread also offers emergency shelter to the community during inclement weather, Lambert says Del Norte County needs a full-time shelter.
“We’re just beginning to find funding through the county for heat, a roof that doesn’t leak, and looking at expansion,” Lambert said, adding that her goal is to make Del Norte Mission Possible a 52-bed facility. “Thirteen is what our use permit says right now.”
Lambert said she and Tamera Leighton, who is the organization’s board treasurer, began working on a service plan for Del Norte Mission Possible in June. The Del Norte Mission Possible Board of Directors formed in September and held its first meeting Nov. 8, Lambert said.
Lambert said Del Norte Mission Possible will follow a whole health model and would partner with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Del Norte Senior Center, the Del Norte Healthcare District and other agencies. One of her goals is to get a nurse who could offer healthcare services to clients.
Lambert said she also wanted to address questions from the community about continuing to pursue a shelter at the Our Daily Bread building despite its need for extensive repairs. She noted that the area on Harrold Street is already zoned for a homeless shelter
“We fought long and hard to have this zoned,” she said. “Everybody is, ‘Not in my backyard,’ and this is an area designated for a homeless shelter. We want to use that and not have to start a whole new battle.”
Justice will continue to focus on Our Daily Bread’s meals and clothing programs and its ministry, Lambert said. Her focus will be on the shelter.
Lambert said one of her biggest supporters is District 2 Supervisor Lori Cowan. Cowan urged Lambert to start Del Norte Mission Possible as a new nonprofit and has been acting as a liaison between the organization and county as it upgrades the Our Daily Bread building.
At Cowan’s request, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Lambert in support of Del Norte Mission Possible.
The work Lambert and her board is doing to create a new 24-hour shelter comes amid a larger conversation regarding homelessness. In October, the Board of Supervisors received a report from Chico-based consultant Housing Tools on the possibility of establishing a permanent supportive housing program in Del Norte.
The county paid for the consultant through a $75,000 technical grant from the state’s No Place Like Home program, Cowan said. The next step would be to find a builder willing to take on the program using loans from the No Place Like Home program, however the county has yet to take that step, Cowan told the Outpost.
In the meantime, Cowan, who is seeking re-election this year, said she has been working with Lambert weekly.
“She’s doing a phenomenal job, I’m just blown away by her,” Cowan said of Lambert. “She’s a very dynamic woman and we’re lucky to have her.”
Everything Lambert hopes to accomplish with Del Norte Mission Possible takes funding. She said that she’s working on funding through the local Continuum of Care. Meanwhile those who want to donate can send a check to Our Daily Bread on behalf of Del Norte Mission Possible, Lambert said.
“I am so excited,” she said. “When this is up and running (we’ll) educate the public that if you really want to help people on the streets, take them to 1135 Harrold Street.”
Our Daily Bread currently offers emergency shelter during inclement weather. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday the organization serves dinner. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings it serves breakfast.
Staff with the Del Norte County Social Services Branch also visits on Thursday to help people access medical benefits, food stamps and other programs, Lambert said. Behavioral Health and the Alcohol and Other Drugs programs offer services at Our Daily Bread on Mondays.