JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — One of the two emergency homeless shelters slated to operate in the City of Jamestown is still not up and running, two weeks after both were promised to open.
Of the two proposed shelters at the Joy Fellowship Free Methodist Church, located at 515 East 7th Street, has opened as planned. However, the set up only holds seven to ten people on nights when temperatures dip to dangerous levels. The proposed shelter at the Gateway Center on Water Street however, is still awaiting funding.
“We’re just trying to finalize the funding, but we can tell you that one shelter has already started, and has been working on a volunteer basis as the weather has been kind of fluctuating between temperatures,” explained Mayor Eddie Sundquist
These operations are the only “Code Blue” shelters in Chautauqua County, and with an estimated 70 plus homeless in Jamestown alone, the need is at an all time high.
“It just opened up as we experienced an issue, where there was no place in Chautauqua County taking any individuals on a “Code Blue” night,“ stated Mayor Sundquist. “So we were forced really to open up the shelter and are very thankful that we have Joy Fellowship Church assisting us in that process. They have received guests, and they have assisted them throughout the process.”
Over the past few months, the City of Jamestown underwent an extensive process to formally open the new emergency resource, with all of the prep work now complete, it’s now a waiting game for formal approval.
“We’ve been working with the state every week to try to get this squared away,“ explained Mayor Sundquist. “Everything has been submitted to New York State, I think within the last couple weeks. They’re just finalizing an overall “Code Blue” plan. This is in addition to the County’s normal plan for the year. So, it’s a little bit of a special circumstance, and we’ve been trying to work with them to get those squared away, and to finalize the federal HUD funding as well to help us start up some of the shelters.”
Originally presented in mid October, the two shelters were supposed to open before Thanksgiving this year. The Mayor hopes to open the second shelter as soon as possible.