An ordinance to alter rules and restrictions on where a warming shelter can be located could come before the Lincoln City City Council at its Oct. 22 meeting and allow for designation of City property as an emergency site on a temporary basis.
“I think that accurately reflects the emergency situation that our community finds itself in,” Lincoln City Warming Shelter President Patrick Alexander said Wednesday.
The Council moved Monday evening to allow City Manager Ron Chandler to designate a site for temporary use during a special workshop at City Hall. Proposals for buying or building a shelter for eventual longtime use were also discussed.
Alexander said various sites exist that could serve effectively as a shelter for the coming winter. He said the most efficient site for both clients and volunteers would be the continued use of Taft Hall, located at 1206 SE 48th Place.
Taft Hall has served as site for the Shelter for the past couple of years, but its legal inability to host clients overnight caused the Council to drastically reduce grant funding at its Sept. 10 meeting.
Zoning issues eliminated First Baptist Church at 1333 N.W. 17th St. as a site to replace Taft Hall because it lied within the Oceanlake Plan District zone, which does not comply with “Accessory Use” requirements.
Alexander said the offer of an alternative site in the form of the old fire department building showed the city is fully engaged on the warming shelter issue, but that the building at SW 4th Street has no insulation, running water or bathrooms.
The fourth floor of City Hall, where Career Tech Charter School resides as a renter from the City, was also mentioned as a possible replacement site.
“I was really encouraged by the direction of the [Oct. 15] workshop,” Alexander said. “We look forward to working with city staff to find a timely solution.”
Councilors met Monday to research and evaluate the homelessness situation in Lincoln City and discuss “funding, zoning and intergovernmental cooperation” on homelessness services in what Councilor Judy Casper said was “an effort to provide stable facilities that meet the needs of this everlasting, changing, growing population.”
Since opening in November 2017, the Lincoln City Resource Center & Emergency Warming Shelter has provided more than 6,806 meals, 1,071 showers, 357 loads of laundry, 40 bus tickets and 15 birth certificates to its daytime clients. The Shelter provided 396 overnight stays last year, providing 1,179 meals to its guests.
In addition, it provides warm clothes, shoes, toiletry and feminine hygiene products free of charge. The Shelter also offers job placement services, mental health and housing assistance, and works closely with Safeway, rehabilitation centers, and county and state assistance agencies. It also partners with hair stylists and dentists to provide free care on selected dates throughout the year.