Winter Homeless Shelter to Open in New Snoqualmie Location; Hearing Examiner Rejects Some of City’s Requested Safety Measures

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

 

 

 

Comments

  1. This is fairly distressing news. So now we have a shelter in downtown that does not screen for violent offenders or inspect the contents of patrons bags without probable circomstance. What guarantee do those of us in the neighborhood have that our persons and property are going to be safe? What happens to those individuals that are turned away? Where will they go at 10.00p? My backyard? When the tenure of the shelter comes to a close, is there going to be a process in place to prevent camps along ther river from being established?
    Have the lessons learned (and consequences thereof) from the North Bend shelter been forgotten?

  2. If it’s any indication, my (and my neighbors) cars have been broken into 3 times in the past month -same block as the shelter.

    • JK: We will actually be opening our shelter this Sunday, Feb 22nd. Please contact the police if you are concerned about criminal behavior in your neighborhood.

    • I have to be honest, I am confused. We are talking about blaming crimes on people, with no probable cause? The shelter just opened on Sunday. So, how do these crimes relate to the shelter not yet open?

  3. As the Shelter Director, I want to make myself available for any questions people may have, including clarification about our policies and procedures. The City of Snoqualmie released incorrect information that we were already up and running…we will actually open for overnight services at Snoqualmie United Methodist Church this Sunday, February 22nd. For direct updates, please join our mailing list at http://www.valleyrenewalcenter.com/contact-us or “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ValleyRenewalCenter. Thank you – Jennifer Kirk

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