MARYSVILLE — The 14 Forward shelter was dedicated Tuesday just two months after the concept of a transitional housing complex created from storage sheds was conceived.
Twenty two-bed units that will be insulated and furnished will provide temporary shelter and services to the homeless, getting them ready for more permanent housing.
Raelynn Butcher was instrumental in giving input to the program. She’s been homeless for a dozen years and is known as the mayor of the Hollywood homeless encampment on the Yuba River.
“I think it’s going to work…if I can get the people to come, and I think they will,” said Butcher.
Butcher’s boyfriend, Brian Brown, saw the complex for the first time at the ribbon cutting on Tuesday. He has been living on the river for six years.
“Amazing,” said Brown.
Still Brown says some homeless choose the lifestyle and chafe under any kind of rules or structure. He said giving up pets will be a major obstacle.
“Some pets are like children for a lot of them,” said Brown.
Still Brown and public officials hope that mental health, substance abuse, education and job skill services will attract those who are looking for a change.
Yuba County Administrator Robert Bendorf said the county came up with $100,000 for the project, which it considered vital for the well being of all county residents.
Businesses and nonprofits were generous with their support along with individuals lowering the cost for the county considerably.
Health officials raised a red flag in January, concerned about the trash and raw sewage around camps that endangered homeless and the general public.