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Linn County, the City of Cedar Rapids, and Willis Dady Homeless Services are pleased to announce the emergency winter overflow shelter will open Friday, November 15 at 6 p.m. in Linn County.
“This is a big step in helping to serve those in our community who are homeless. I am proud of every person and partner who helped make this happen,” Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers said.
The emergency winter overflow shelter will be located in the County-owned Fillmore Building, 520 11th St. NW. The Linn County Board of Supervisors authorized use of the building for the overflow shelter as plans to move the County’s Child and Youth Development Services from the Fillmore Building to the new Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris Building were finalized. The move is being completed this week, which opens the space for the shelter.
While Linn County owns the building, it is contracting the overflow shelter services to Willis Dady Homeless Services. The shelter will be staffed by Willis Dady and open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. seven days a week through March if the weather stays cold.
“Our committee is grateful and excited to have access to this amazing space,” Executive Director of Willis Dady Homeless Services Phoebe Trepp said. “With winter hitting early, this will be a life-saving place for dozens of our community members. This is a great start towards ensuring the safety of all people in Linn County. We are grateful to Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids for making this happen.”
Willis Dady is not seeking prepared food donations. However, donations of packed food items, such as granola bars, beef jerky, and tuna packs can be accepted. Clean blankets and warm outerwear (coats, scarves, hats, and gloves) are also accepted and can be dropped off during shelter operating hours.
Long-term, Linn County is exploring options to create a homeless services resource center and day center that would provide laundry facilities, Wi-Fi access, mailboxes, and other resources.