Safe Space shuttered

Winter shelter closes early for season

After weeks of operating on a day-to-day basis, the low-barrier, volunteer-run winter homeless shelter Safe Space, which housed and fed over 50 guests on most nights, has closed for the season. Its last night of operation was Saturday (Feb. 21).

The early closure was due to a few factors, according to an email to volunteers from the Chico Housing Action Team. The Jesus Center recently declined to hold registration there because of fights among guests in line. Volunteers also became “less successful at screening guests for drugs and alcohol,” the message reads. “As a result, we’ve seen an increase in behavioral problems and damage to church property.”

Lastly, the downtown location of Trinity United Methodist Church, where the shelter had planned to move next, was problematic: “We had trouble keeping guests from wandering away and coming back, often after additional substance abuse.”