City opens emergency cold weather shelter
Joey Matthews | 10/27/2015, 1:39 p.m.
Men and women again will be able to spend cold nights inside the city’s former Public Safety Building in coming months.
For the third consecutive year, the City of Richmond will use a portion of the building at 501 N. 9th St. as its emergency overflow shelter, according to Tammy D. Hawley, a spokesperson for Mayor Dwight C. Jones.
The city opened the overflow shelter for the first time last weekend when nighttime temperatures dipped into the mid-30s.
The shelter opens when nighttime temperatures are forecast to be 40 degrees or below.
The shelter can accommodate 168 people, Ms. Hawley said. Residents sleep on thin mats on the first floor and ground floor. Food is not provided and pets are not allowed.
The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6. Shelter registration is from 7 to 9 p.m.
Those seeking refuge are asked to report each day to the shelter operator, Commonwealth Catholic Charities, 511 W. Grace St. in Downtown, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A referral to the emergency overflow shelter will be provided to individuals who are not eligible for an existing shelter or if all available beds in other shelters have been filled.
Individuals seeking access to the shelter must have a referral.
This is Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ second year operating the shelter and providing security and supplies.
Ms. Hawley said it cost the city $341,126.74 to operate the shelter last winter.
Day warming shelter services will be discussed during the coming weeks, Ms. Hawley added. She said that service usually begins in December. She said no vendor has been contracted yet to deliver the service.