Redding's First Proposed Micro Shelter Community
by MSC Planning Committee
After nearly two years of planning and preparation alongside the city of Redding, the first proposed Micro Shelter Community (MSC) is in the planning stages at St. James Lutheran Church.
Micro shelters are small, temporary housing structures that provide a safe location for carefully-selected and motivated individuals to live as they work toward stable and permanent housing while engaging with social services and the benefits of community living.
On June 15, 2021, the Redding City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2637 to establish criteria for permitting and operating of emergency housing sites during a declared shelter crisis-- a major breakthrough for our unsheltered friends. This ordinance provides the legal conditions necessary to introduce MSCs into Redding for the first time.
As we learn from existing MSC communities & understand the need among those experiencing homelessness in Redding, the answer to solving this crisis remains abundantly clear: provide the safety & stability of a home and a supportive community.
We aim to provide not just shelter, but a renewed sense of hope, purpose and identity as well as a sense of belonging and role within a community of people who are also working towards similar goals. No man is an island, we need each other to thrive.
The city has agreed to allow MSC communities to exist on the grounds of businesses, city land and local churches.
"There are way too many unsheltered people and it's going to take all of us to solve this problem," says Laural Park, head of the MSC Planning Committee.
“Show me your community of friends, and I will show you your future.” -Unknown
We all know that the people who surround us impact our identities, our experiences, and what we think is possible in our lives. By removing people from their toxic environments, we can stop the negative cycles of their lives and prevent those toxic environments from reproducing and growing. This shift leads to a healthier overall community and begins to reverse the alarming growth of homelessness that we see across our country right now.
MSCs provide the transformational environment necessary for successful rehabilitation and integration of formerly homeless people back into the Redding community. Each MSC will be regularly monitored for success and reviewed on a regular basis.
The MSC model will not work for everyone. Individuals with violent backgrounds, individuals with severe mental or physical assistance needs, and individuals unwilling to fully engage in our system of supportive services toward recovery and integration will not be invited to participate in the MSC program. However, there are hundreds of people in our city who just need a safe place to sleep, a warm smile, and some professional services to transform their lives.