In a unanimous vote this afternoon, the City of Bellingham Emergency Services Council – including City Council, the City's Emergency Manager, and the Mayor – approved an amended emergency proclamation.
The amended proclamation acknowledges continuing effects of recent severe weather and directs the City's Office of Emergency Management to work in collaboration with Whatcom County Emergency Management “to coordinate event-related assistance, monitor the ongoing situation, authorize use of appropriate facilities for emergency shelter and assess the impacts of the storm."
Earlier today Mayor Kelli Linville recommended amending the emergency proclamation that has been in effect since Monday, Feb. 11, and closed the emergency temporary shelter that had been housed at the Maritime Heritage Park facility.
The Lighthouse Mission and Fountain Community Church, which offer 210 beds, have not been filled to capacity. The shelter at Maritime Heritage Park had capacity for 20-25 men and averaged seven or fewer per night.
Under the revised proclamation The City will resume its winter shelter operating procedure, which includes:
- Supporting the Lighthouse Mission's good work;
- Contracting with Fountain Church to shelter and provide meals for up to 45 women;
- Allowing Winter Haven in its current space behind City Hall for their license duration;
- Partnering with service providers such as Opportunity Council, Northwest Youth Services, Lydia Place and others.
In the event more capacity is needed during future extreme weather conditions, additional accommodations are covered by a contract between Fountain Community Church and the City.
The Bellingham Police Department and Bellingham Fire Department also continue to transport unsheltered people to local shelters or PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, as needed.
Lighthouse Mission shelter update
Lighthouse Missions Ministries (LMM) reports they had 172 guests Thursday night, Feb. 14, between the Fountain Community Church and LMM facilities and will continue to operate with expanded capacity this evening.
LMM shelter guests at all LMM and Fountain Community Church facilities can check in through the LMM Drop-In Center. The center is open 24 hours per day and is located at 1013 W. Holly Street. Anyone seeking services at the shelter is welcome. The only exception is if the person has a history of violence at the Lighthouse Mission. For more information on Lighthouse Mission, visit www.thelighthousemission.org/.
HomesNOW! also has access to additional shelter beds. For more information, contact HomesNOW at homesnow.org.
Northwest Youth Services provides a day center for youth, with the support from First Congregational Church of Bellingham. For more information, visit www.nwys.org/emergency-housing.
For more information:
To see the Amended Emergency Proclamation, click here.
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For information on the City of Bellingham's 2019 winter actions to address homelessness, visit www.cob.org/services/housing/homeless/Pages/2019-winter-actions.aspx.
To receive emergency alerts through the City and County's AlertSense program, sign up here.