JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – City of Jamestown officials are currently setting up two emergency homeless shelters, with plans to open before temperatures take a dive.
There will be a total of two shelters, one at Joy Fellowship Free Methodist Church, located at 515 East 7th Street, and another at the Gateway Center on Water Street. Combined, each will house close to 30 beds.
Homelessness has been an issue within city limits recently, and with deadly cold temperatures on the horizon, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquest believes it is imperative to get these structures up and running.
“The shelters are just for whenever there is a “Cold Blue” day, which is the temperature is below 32 degrees in the city or in the county,“ explained Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “Those individuals then can go to these emergency shelters for the evening.”
In years past, the city has used state “Code Blue” funding to rehouse individuals in hotels around the area.
In addition to the state’s support, the city is also receiving federal funding through the Cares act that provides an additional $194,000 dollars in extra HUD funding.
Local churches are also doing their part.
“We have a food pantry,“ explained Pastor Mario Angeli. “That can help families that need to get by, until they can get more food again in their home. But that’s what we’re there for, we’re there to serve the community.”
One shelter will be co-ed, while the other will focus on providing for families.
“So the emergency sheltering that we are creating works to solve those issues,” said Mayor Sundquist. “All of our current shelters are full, and so to have a place for people to go that will be open and will take things that our shelters currently do not is a huge component of helping our homeless in the City of Jamestown.”
At each location, inflatable beds that are bedbug proof will be used. Ways to provide community resources and medical aid are also in talks.
Jamestown’s largest shelter currently can hold 22 individuals, and is currently at capacity. The Mayor hopes that these additional beds will be enough to provide shelter and safety from the elements to anyone struggling.