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2019 Winter Actions

​To address homelessness this winter, the City's emergency intervention and prevention strategies include the following:

For Those Currently Experiencing Homelessness


The City partners with and provides funding to several organizations that provide emergency overnight shelter, day center accommodations and safe camping for people experiencing homelessness.

Men and Women's Overnight Shelter and Day Center (Drop-In Center), 1013 W. Holly Street, operated by Lighthouse Mission Ministries (LMM) year-round

  • Up to 150 men and women can be accommodated at the Drop-in Center each night
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily
  • The Drop-in Center is available for men and women during the day and offers information from partnering organizations
  • In December, January and February, LMM works with Fountain Community Church to shelter women at the church.  Check-in remains the responsibility of LMM and is done at the Drop-in Center.
  • For more information, visit https://www.thelighthousemission.org/what-we-do/drop-in-center/

Women's Emergency Winter Shelter, 2100 Broadway Street, operated by Fountain Community Church during the months of December, January & February

  • To add capacity during the winter months when those seeking shelter increases, up to 45 women and children per night can be accommodated at Fountain Community Church.  Check-in remains the responsibility of LMM and is undertaken at the Drop-in Center located at 1013 W. Holly
  • Dinner and breakfast are served daily
  • In the event capacity is expected to exceed 195 and when weather is unsafe, additional accommodations will be made for up to 30 more guests during severe weather
  • The Bellingham Public Central Library lecture room will be made available to Fountain Community Church shelter guests as a day center in the event that severe weather creates a lack of space during the day at the Lighthouse Mission Drop-in Center
  • The City provides $20,000 to help defray operating costs over the three-month period
  • For more information, contact Pastor Rick Qualls at https://www.fountaincommunitychurch.org/contact

 Winter Haven, 210 Lottie Street, operated by HomesNOW!

  • Provides a temporary safe camping site for men and women experiencing homelessness
  • Up to 20 tents are available for men and women
  • Operating January through the end of March 2019 in the City Hall parking area
  • Future sites to be determined
  • For more information, visit http://homesnow.org/winter-haven

Motel Vouchers operated by the Opportunity Council

  • The City contributes $40,000 per year to shelter homeless families at motels during the winter months

Homeless Service Center operated by the Opportunity Council

  • The City contributes $78,500 per year to the Homeless Service Center operations
  • The City contributes about $200,000 annually to the Homeless Outreach Team, connecting people experiencing homelessness to available services

Lockers (operated by Safe Storage PNW)

  • City has constructed a pad on City property at a cost of approximately $5,000
  • Lockers should be operational in Winter 2019

Ground Floor (operated by Northwest Youth Services)

  • City will contribute to operations at $85,000 per year for two years
  • Drop-in day center for homeless youth opening in Winter 2019

Holly Street Outreach Center (operated by Bellingham Police Department)

  • The City is providing $79,000 to furnish and lease office space next to the Lighthouse Mission's drop-in center
  • Office and meeting spaces can be used by GRACE and other partners
  • Security cameras to be installed on the street to improve public safety

Small Specialized Shelters

  • An ordinance establishing regulations for temporary shelters has been adopted
  • An ordinance establishing regulations for interim housing is under consideration
  • A permit for Winter Haven, a temporary tent encampment behind City Hall, has been approved

 Portable Toilet and Trash Facilities (operated by Bellingham Public Works Department)

  • The City is providing portable toilet and trash facilities in four locations for those experiencing homelessness
  • The City pays approximately $15,000 annually for these facilities

For Those at Risk of Losing Their Homes

Rental Assistance Program (multiple partners)

  • Tenant Based Rental assistance contract for a total of $171,500 per year in place with the Opportunity Council
  • City will contribute an additional $150,000 through June 2019 to Lydia Place
  • City contracts with Northwest Youth Services for Positive Adolescent Development shelter and Transitional Living programs offer supports for youth experiencing homelessness

Continued Support (multiple partners)

  • City contracts with DVSAS, YWCA, NWYS, Lydia Place, Catholic Community Services and Opportunity Council all include ongoing support for housing stability

Emergency Vouchers for Families operated by the Opportunity Council

  • Increasing Opportunity Council's funding for emergency hotel vouchers from $30,000 to $40,000, to come from the City's general fund

22 North operated by Northwest Youth Services and Opportunity Council

  • The City is contributing $142,857 per year for operations
  • 40 units of permanent housing with support services opened in November 2018