Monday, December 12, 2016

Shelter House' Winter 2016/17 Temporary Homeless Shelter in Iowa City to be Located at Former Unitarian Universalist Society Church Building // Updated: Temporary Shelter Relocated to Zion Lutheran Church during Week of December 12th

(Originally written on 12/03/16): Over the past two winters, Iowa City's Shelter House has operated a temporary homeless shelter that was capable of housing 20-25 people per night during the months of January and February. These temporary shelters were created to alleviate some of the overcrowding that happens each winter at the Shelter House. They were also used as a form of "wet shelter" (i.e., allowing individuals to access the sheleter who had been drinking alcohol). Those individuals are turned away from the Shelter House. It was set up in the old Aldi's building back in 2014 and at the old TMone building last year.

It was announced yesterday that there will be another temporary homeless shelter this winter, located at the former Unitarian Universalist Society Church building at 10 S. Gilbert Street in Iowa City:
"It really is an important service that we’ve been able to offer for the last two winters," said Mark Sertterh, associate executive director at Shelter House, "because it truly does target those who are chronically homeless and on the streets during the winter time when it is really dangerous to be out."

Sertterh said Shelter House is hoping to open the shelter the week of Dec. 12 and has a temporary-use permit from Iowa City to use the building through March 12. The building will be able to hold 35 people from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day, he said...

Shelter House has also secured a permit from the city to expand the number of beds from 70 to 100 at its main facility at 429 Southgate Ave. this winter, bringing the total number of available beds to 135.
It's estimated that it will cost $60,000 to operate this winter's temporary shelter.

Updated on 12/12/16: The news broke this afternoon that Shelter House had to temporarily relocate the temporary homeless shelter from the former Unitarian Universalist Society church building. Apparently, there were some unexpected facility repairs that needed to be attended to. Instead, the temporary shelter will be located this week at Zion Lutheran Church at 310 N. Johnson Street in Iowa City. The temporary shelter is supposed to transition to the Unitarian Universalist Society church building next week.

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