The Snoqualmie Valley Winter Shelter, operated by the Valley Renewal Center, was approved by the City of Snoqualmie’s Hearing Examiner last week and the new Snoqualmie location opens February 22, 2015.
The temporary overnight winter homeless shelter is located at the Snoqualmie Valley United Methodist Church, 38701 SE River Street in downtown Snoqualmie and will operate through mid-April 2015.
The shelter accommodates up to 40 adults and accompanied minors with professional staffing at all times. Shelter hours are 8:30PM to 7:30AM, with a 10PM curfew.
According to Mayor Matt Larson, the Hearing Examiner did not accept all the safety measures the City of Snoqualmie requested, but Valley Renewal Center is “committed to operating the shelter in a manner that will be sensitive to the immediate neighborhood concerns.”
Shelter patrons will be screened for sex offender registration by staff members, as registered offenders are not eligible to use the shelter. The City of Snoqualmie had asked for patrons to be subject to background checks before being admitted to the shelter.
At check-in, shelter patrons will also be required to sign a consent form that allows staff to search their bags only if circumstances lead staff members to suspect items not allowed at the shelter, such as drugs, alcohol or weapons, are in their possession.
The City of Snoqualmie had originally requested a search of potential shelter guests’ bags, backpacks, and containers for drugs, alcohol, or weapons prior to admittance and in order for the shelter to be located in the city.
During the three years of operating the winter overnight homeless shelter, Valley Renewal Center has been committed to providing a safe place for its patrons as well as the neighborhood and city where the shelter is located, which previously was in downtown North Bend.
Mayor Larson said via press release that the “City [of Snoqualmie] will closely monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary.”
For information on volunteering or donating to Valley Renewal Center visit www.valleyrenewalcenter.com