Cold weather shelters open in Snohomish County as freezing temperatures arrive

The New Hope Fellowship in Monroe opened its doors Sunday night and is set to open in the next 10 days.

MONROE, Wash — As winter weather moves through Western Washington, a major concern for many is freezing temperatures throughout the week.

On Sunday night, cold weather overnight shelters will open in Snohomish County and they plan to stay open for the rest of the week.

The New Hope Fellowship in Monroe opened its doors Sunday night to ensure everyone had a warm place to sleep and a hot meal.

Snohomish County has six overnight cold weather shelters open when temperatures are predicted to be below 34 degrees.

Volunteers at New Hope Fellowship expect 10-15 people needing a place to stay on Sunday night. Volunteers say they are now seeing more people showing up earlier in the cold weather season.

“We don’t really see cold spells like this until January or February in most seasons,” said Lynsey Gagnon, Executive Director of the Volunteer Community Resource Center of America.

US volunteers are running shelters in Monroe and another in Snohomish, and with freezing temperatures along the way, they’re poised to open in the next 10 days.

They said volunteers were their biggest need, especially at the Snohomish site.

“It’s tiring. Night after night and a lot of our volunteers have full-time jobs, have day jobs so they really are rock stars. These are the neighbours,” he said. your sisters who are going through hard times and just need a place to sleep tonight,” Gagnon said.

A warm place to sleep is in growing demand in Snohomish County. There are currently about 1,200 known homeless people in the county. That is more than at any time in the past decade. The county is planning to open more shelter beds at the two motels it plans to buy, but until then, places like New Hope Fellowship are crucial.

“It is a matter of life and death. “We literally can and have lost people on the street,” Gagnon said.

For those unable to volunteer, Gagnon says you can donate winter clothing like hats, gloves, coats and socks.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/cold-weather-shelters-open-snohomish-county/281-295bd3c1-31e0-4804-8516-3f0e9ca5f388 Cold weather shelters open in Snohomish County as freezing temperatures arrive

Edmund DeMarche

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