Our two-story building, commonly known as Mahany Hall, was erected in 1957 to provide additional classrooms and a large fellowship hall for meetings and other activities of the Church groups as well as many civic organizations of San Carlos. Since then and to this day, the fellowship hall (aka Mahany Hall) and kitchen support the needs of many civic groups including San Mateo County Dept. of Elections, San Mateo County Mental Health, Cub Scouts Pack 65, Boy Scouts Troop 321, San Carlos Lions Club, San Carlos Eaton Hills 4H, Junior Matrons, AA/Alanon 12-Step groups, Home and Hope Interfaith & Community Support for Homeless Families.
In April 2011 Cub Scouts Pack 65 and Boy Scouts Troop 321 jointly held a Paper Shredding and Baked Goods Sales fundraiser for the benefit of UCCSC. They heard that our coffers could use some replenishment. At that time UCCSC was also in conversation with American Red Cross about the possible use of Mahany Hall as a place for some of their activities. They were kind enough to support us by stationing a staffed American Red Cross table at that fundraiser. Unfortunately, conditions were not right at the time to pursue their possible use of Mahany Hall.
Now with the church Redevelopment Project and the inclusion of some upgrades to Mahany Hall, our spacious hall could be very suitable for American Red Cross in time of a local disaster. At the August 21, 2016 regular monthly meeting, Council approved the creation of a Disaster Shelter using Mahany Hall and kitchen during hours not needed for ourselves. Council also approved pursuing a partnership agreement with American Red Cross. Such an agreement was signed by UCCSC Trustees and ARC Disaster Program Manager August 23, 2016 following an ARC Shelter Survey. It is a non-binding agreement in that we have entered into it in good faith. When a disaster occurs, ARC will contact us to determine if they may open a center here. We can refuse for any reason. Once the center is opened, we may not discriminate as to who may enter. ARC will be the Operator and Manager of the shelter when it is activated. We provide the specified space and they provide everything else. ARC will coordinate with the City to provide security and safety. We can provide additional equipment use, supplies, food and staffing as may be feasible.
While ARC can provide everything that will be needed based on the disaster situation, there may be a delay of several days before their supplies arrive. Therefore, it would be appropriate for UCCSC to have some basic shelter items on-site. We have just submitted a grant application to the City of San Carlos for some seed money to purchase these items. We will know the outcome of this application in late September. The use of our Mahany Hall as a disaster shelter would be an asset to the City of San Carlos.
Once this endeavor is more finalized, we would like to engage others in the larger community to join with us as volunteers for outreach, maintaining and servicing the center. Please be on the lookout for future announcements.