Overview prepared by Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities is providing emergency shelter through a Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Project to unsheltered homeless at a local motel (with a total of 15 units set aside and a total capacity of 30 beds for the overflow shelter). This will be offered when there is no vacancy at either of the Catholic Charities Shelters. The following information is provided to ensure clarity as to how the Cold Weather Overflow shelter will operate this season:
Conditions Activating the Shelter.
The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be in operation during cold weather months (November 15, 2023 to March 30, 2024) when temperatures are at, or below, 28 degrees and/or severe weather conditions such as a blizzard. Also, precipitation or snow alone doesn’t ensure that the overflow will open; other factors are taken into consideration coupled with the temperatures such as “feel like” temps. As an example, if the temperature was expected to be at 32 degrees but the wind-chill coupled with rain or snow presents or “feels like” 25 degrees, then the overflow would be activated. It is anticipated that the overflow shelter will be in operation for approximately 50+ nights during the given timeframe.
Cold Weather Shelter Staff.
The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter project team is composed of Catholic Charities, PAACA, and Best Security.
Admission Into Shelter.
On a daily basis all Providers and Street Outreach teams, should direct all unsheltered individuals to contact Sister Rose/ Grace House as early as 9:30am and no later than 1pm to check on availability or to be put on a waitlist. As beds become available individuals will be contacted for placement from the list. This helps in regards to hotel placement and number of expected guests on any given night. When the Overflow is Activated, the Emergency Assistance Shelters should be at capacity. Catholic Charities will send an activation email to providers informing everyone the cold shelter is open. Every year there has been grey area days the team will do the best in our judgment to make the right call. On days that we are expected to open, an email blast will be sent by 12pm.
Transportation to the Shelter.
Transportation will be provided by the PAACA and all individuals will be picked up in the parking lot of Sister Rose House. The address is 71 Division St. Transportation starts at 3pm and based on 30 individuals PAACA provides roughly 2 trips. Individuals could also take alternative options such as SRTA buses or their own vehicles as long as they registered on any given day to stay at the Motel. PAACA also provides the dinner at the motel when the Overflow is activated.
What Does It Look Like When Folks Go into the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter?
All inquiries can be forwarded to Sister Rose House. Guest are encouraged to call the office at 508-997-3202 to confirm if the Overflow will be activated. If so then all individuals should plan to arrive in the parking lot entrance and line up accordingly. All individuals have to be at least 18 years old. Males are assigned with males and females are assigned with females. All individuals are registered and an ID will be provided to verify that the all parties have been registered through the season. Even though many unsheltered individuals are reluctant to accept services, all people are encouraged and asked if they would like to be added to the waitlist. Once registration is done which is (1pm to 3pm) transportation starts immediately. Once all individuals have arrived at the motel, shortly after the meals which are also provided by PAACA are distributed to all individuals. Everybody is given a wakeup call between 5:30- 6am in which transportation will return everybody back to the parking lot of Sister Rose House. All parties must exit the motel by 6am.
Even as we enter different phases of this pandemic, shelter operations should align with CDC and DPH recommendations regarding social distancing, PPE, and other protective measures.
As a reminder, the overflow will be activated on nights that the temperature is expected to be at 28 degrees or less.
If the temperature were to drop below 28 at 4 or 5:00am rather than 7 or 8:00pm as an example, it doesn’t ensure that the overflow would open.
All guests are expected to exit the motel by 6 am.
Please contact Elizabeth Neves or Ray Duarte of Catholic Charities at (774)628-9743 or 508-997-3202 if you have any questions.