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Project Sanctuary to benefit from Leadership Mendocino project

Friday, October 25, 2013

On Saturday, October 26th students in the Sustainable Technology program at Mendocino College will be replacing approximately 20 windows at Project Sanctuary’s crisis shelter house in Ukiah. Lia Patterson, local Realtor from RE/Max Full Spectrum and recent graduate of Leadership Mendocino, has organized the “Adopt-a-Window” campaign which has raised money to replace the shelter’s old single pane windows. The new dual pane windows will increase energy efficiency, reduce heating costs, and improve comfort in the building.

Orion Walker, coordinator of the Sustainable Tech program at Mendocino College and Leadership Mendocino alum, first heard about the effort when a fellow Leadership Mendocino graduate contacted him with the idea that the Sustainable Tech program could provide Project Sanctuary with skilled volunteers to install the windows. “I immediately thought this would be a great opportunity,” said Walker, “it will give students in our Construction Fundamentals class an opportunity to apply the skills they are learning in a real world setting, while assisting an important local nonprofit.” The construction students, who are currently building a fully contained tiny mobile house on wheels, will take one class day to complete the window installation work under the guidance of course instructor Jen Riddell, as well as additional local contractors who have agreed to volunteer their assistance.

Lia Patterson, who has spent the last eight months soliciting donations and making arrangements for the window installation, says she got the idea for this Leadership Mendocino project when she read the 2013 New Year’s wish of Dina Polkinghorn, Executive Director of Project Sanctuary:  “To have no repairs or problems with either of our shelters this year.”

Project Sanctuary is thrilled to see this project coming together as it will greatly improve the comfort of the shelter house and help on heating costs. This is especially important for its residents, as the 100 year-old shelter is used for displaced families to live in for up to one year, rent free, so that they are able to get back on their feet by securing a job and saving money to move out on their own.

The community is invited to be a part of this project by attending a fundraising tri tip dinner on Saturday, November 16th from 5-7 pm at 300 W. Smith Street in Ukiah. Tickets are $25 for one or two for $40 and are available at Mendocino Book Company or Project Sanctuary. In addition to dinner the evening will include live music and a silent auction. All proceeds will go toward the Project Sanctuary window project, including other necessary repairs to the transitional house.

Project Sanctuary is a dual agency serving the entire County, created in response to the need for emergency shelter and support for men, women and children who are being abused. The organization provides emergency response and counseling to survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Today, over 2000 victims are served annually by Project Sanctuary.

For more information on Project Sanctuary contact Dina Polkinghorn at 462-9196 or at their website,

For more information on the Sustainable Technology Program at Mendocino College contact Orion Walker, or 468.3224.