The City of Snoqualmie announced Wednesday, February 10, 2015, that Snoqualmie Valley Renewal Center had submitted an application for a temporary Conditional Use Permit for an overnight winter shelter.
For the past three winters, Snoqualmie Valley Renewal Center has been providing overnight shelter in the Valley during the cold winter months. Currently, the shelter is operating out of Mount Si Lutheran Church in North Bend.
The temporary overnight shelter would run through mid-April  and would be located at Snoqualmie Valley United Methodist Church, 38701 SE River Street in downtown Snoqualmie.
According to a city press release, the shelter would accommodate up to 40 adults and accompanied minors with professional staffing at all times. Shelter hours are 8:30PM – 7:30AM with a 10PM curfew.
The Conditional Use Permit application for the shelter is currently under consideration by Snoqualmie’s independent Hearing Examiner.
The city says, Snoqualmie Valley Renewal Center’s proposal meets all of their proposed permit conditions except two, which “are intended to protect the life and safety of shelter guests of all ages, shelter staff and the public.”
The two conditions under consideration for the shelter’s operation in Snoqualmie include requiring a background checks for shelter guests, which would be done on-the-spot. Anyone determined to have been convicted of a violent felony offense or who is a registered sex offender should not be permitted to stay at the shelter.
Another condition requested by the City of Snoqualmie would require a search of potential shelter guests’ bags, backpacks, and containers for drugs, alcohol or weapons.
The Center’s existing rules already prohibit entrance by a guest found with drugs, alcohol, or weapons. The city says this proposed condition will enable the Center to better enforce those rules.
If entrance is prohibited, the Snoqualmie Police Department would try to help the individual find a more secure place to stay, rather than remaining in the downtown vicinity.
“We are concerned about the well-being of homeless families, children, and individuals in the Snoqualmie Valley,” said Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson. “The purpose of my office is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. I would like all people in this city have a safe, warm place to sleep. We hope the Snoqualmie Valley Renewal Center will work with us to protect the safety of all citizens.”
The public hearing examiner has not set a date to make a decision.