The Torres Shelter in Chico has bed bugs, and will be temporarily moving to First Baptist Church next week while the problem is being fixed.
Executive director Brad Montgomery tells Action News Now that on the one hand this a crisis. But on the other hand, he sees crises first-hand 365 days a year.
So when Torres shelter's Executive Director Brad Montgomery broke the not-so-secret news last night that the shelter has bed bugs.
Residents jumped at the opportunity to help, ask questions, and make sure they wouldn't make the problem worse.
“It's been stressful for a lot of them. It’s definitely been difficult to handle the situation, but they've handled it well and played a big part in getting it taken care of,” said Robyn Gerfen, a Monitor at Torres Shelter.
On Friday, in preparation for treatment, residents and volunteers started packing up anything that would touch people's lips.
“Loading boxes, food products, hygiene products, bagging things that need to go out,” said volunteer Mark Crowell. “It’s a fair amount of work, been pretty busy since 9:00 this morning…is when we started.”
“It’s a pretty big logistical plan to take what we do 365 days a year and figure out the bare minimum of things you need to do it safely in another location for three days,” Montgomery said.
That other location is First Baptist Church, on Palmetto Avenue. Torres will relocate Monday, with the hopes of returning sometime Wednesday.
“We’re going to be changing a fair amount of policies and protocols,” Montgomery said.
There's two ways he sees bedbugs coming back: guests, and donations.
For the time being, Torres isn't accepting any fabric donations, unless brand new.
Long-range, the plan is to have both an outdoor locker system, and outdoor processing station for donations.
The Torres Community Shelter needs financial help. So if you'd like to help, you can write checks to 101 Silver Dollar Way in Chico, 95928 or make a donation online here.