Citizens Homeless Commission

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Inclement Weather Shelters

The Office of Homeless Solutions received direction from the City Council to move forward with the creation of new temporary inclement weather shelter use in Chapter 51A as well as establish new City Chapter to codify eligibility, operations and monitoring of inclement weather shelter program

District 2 Commission response to OHS proposal

 

Per Chair Ann Margolin's request at CHC last week, attached is my recommendations for the Chapter 45 programing of Inclement Weather Shelter.

The overall goal is to have scattered-site, small-scale IWS throughout the city, coordinated with other overnight warming stations in nearby cities. The attachment outlines these "community controls" in detail. I also added a "call-to-action" request for our Mayor, city council, staff and homeless providers. 

Community controls are very important here. During last week's cold snap, Our Calling operated as a 200-person, overnight shelter, 24/7, without any protections against sexual predators, security measures for vulnerable populations, infection controls, emergency plan for fire evacuation, or diligent case management for the person to exit homelessness. Fortunately for the city, the Cedars residents have been most tolerant. If this had happened in any other neighborhood other than the Cedars, the city might be dealing with legal action from those nearby residents and stakeholders. 

Community controls balance the needs of the homeless, the service provider, and the neighborhood wherein all exist. I strongly urge OHS to incorporate these recommendations into Chapter 45 programming.

Again, thank you for all you do. I think we're on the right path if we approach this slowly and methodically.

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