MORGANTOWN — What was a distant however clearly recognized drawback in April has grown right into a quickly approaching disaster.
Regardless of months of conferences, outreach and dialogue, there stays no company prepared to tackle the operation of an emergency warming shelter and no facility or services during which to deal with it.
Janette Lewis is the neighborhood impression director for United Means of Monongalia and Preston Counties. She helped manage and lift the funds wanted to run final winter’s warming shelter from Dec. 1 to March 15 at Hazel’s Home of Hope (HHH).
In an Oct. 13 e mail to stakeholders supplied to The Dominion Put up, Lewis mentioned “I’m extraordinarily unhappy to share this information with you however there won’t be a mass chilly shelter this season.” Lewis mentions the explanations listed above in addition to the lack to make the most of the previous hotel-turned-hub for social providers.
Final winter, HHH stepped in to host the shelter and was shortly overwhelmed as some 60 people have been unfold all through the constructing nightly.
When the shelter closed on March 15, it was made clear HHH was not a superb match for the shelter and wouldn’t serve that objective once more.
And that’s just about the place issues stay.
“As a result of folks began so early final yr engaged on this drawback, I believe all of us naively thought it could be extra solved by now,” Mayor Jenny Selin mentioned throughout Tuesday’s Morgantown Metropolis Council assembly.
Councilor Danielle Trumble defined that HHH has dedicated to preserving its new day room open from morning till The Salvation Military’s dinner service all through the winter.
Additional, she mentioned Bartlett Housing Options has agreed to broaden the capability of their triage shelter from 28 beds to no less than 40 over the winter months.
In her e mail, Lewis mentioned the price of working final winter’s shelter rent-free was $140,000.
To this point, town has put apart $30,000 and the county has put up $10,000.
“I’m not even positive that discovering extra cash for it could essentially be the issue. The problem is there isn’t a group that’s prepared to host it or run it,” Trumble mentioned. “If anyone has any type of plan and funding is the difficulty, please come to us. We actually don’t wish to see anybody within the parts. We’re working with everybody we will consider.”
Dani Ludwig was one among six individuals who got here to Tuesday’s assembly to ask town to do no matter it could possibly.
“Camps are being cleared out. Tents are being thrown away. How does anybody anticipate folks to outlive with out some type of shelter? If temperatures drop to something like final yr folks will freeze to demise,” Ludwig mentioned. “We’d like your assist.”
In different information from Tuesday’s assembly, Metropolis Supervisor Kim Haws mentioned the Morgantown Metropolis Corridor building web site was damaged into over the weekend and instruments value about $1,000 have been stolen.
He mentioned Morgantown Police utilized the newly put in surveillance cameras to determine the person and make an arrest.
“I imagine that’s only the start of the constructive responses and outcomes of getting cameras that can enable us to determine and create the proof essential to prosecute,” Haws mentioned.