Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Iowa City Homeless Advocates Considering Temporary Winter Shelter

So far, Winter 2014/15 has been pretty mild in Iowa City. But winters here can get pretty nasty. Unfortunately, we have a lot of people who struggle with homelessness or who are on the verge of homelessness. Fortunately, we have a pretty good homeless shelter. Unfortunately, it fills up quickly during this time of year and people are either sleeping in the Shelter House's lobby or in the Iowa City City Hall building or in vehicles or in other makeshift spots.

I learned today that the Shelter House and the Johnson County Local Homeless Coordinating Board are working to convert the old Aldi's building on Gilbert Street into a temporary homeless shelter for the coming winter months. Not only would this serve those who cannot get beds at the Shelter House because of overcrowding or because they maxed out the number of nights that they're allowed to remain at the shelter, but it would also serve those who are unable to stay at the Shelter House for other reasons, such as drug or alcohol abuse.

According to Little Village, the Iowa City City Council will vote tonight on whether or not to approve $20,000 for this temporary shelter. Efforts are also being made to secure additional funding from other local governmental entities.

If approved, this temporary shelter will serve up to 20-25 people through February 2015.

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