Residents living without roofs over their heads will have access to overnight shelter in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend during the current cold snap.
Serenity House of Clallam County is expanding its overnight services for the homeless under its Blue Flag program, opening the shelter at 2203 W. 18th St. for 24 hours a day until further notice, Executive Director Doc Robinson said.
“The Blue Flag went out this morning,” Robinson said on Jan. 13. “That means, basically, the shelter doesn’t close.”
Clallam Transit stops at the shelter, and a Serenity House van picks up clients beginning at about 6 p.m. at 321 E. Fifth St. at Port Angeles City Hall. It will circles back until no one else is waiting for warmth.
“We will be doing extra runs to pull folks in because it’s cold,” Robinson said. “You can’t put people out in this weather.”
He said overall the shelter is averaging 70 clients a night and expects those numbers to approach 100 this week.
“Folks out there are pretty resilient,” he said. “They can stay as long as they need to.
“Right now, they can’t move around in the camps, with the snow, slush and mud.
“There are camping places in every canyon. They’re under every bridge.”
Peninsula Behavioral Health operates the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness program, an outreach effort.
Wendy Sisk, CEO of Peninsula Behavioral Health, said Monday the PATH staff are aware of more than 30 individuals who live in tents in the Port Angeles area.
“The Point In Time Count is coming up this month and will afford a more robust picture of the current homeless population,” Sisk said this week in an email.
The Olympic Community Action Program (OlyCAP) has homeless services facilities in Sequim and Port Townsend.
OlyCAP also operates a warming center at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 525 N. Fifth Ave., Sequim, where families can go — and sleep, if they need to and have nowhere else to go.
The facility is open from 9 p.m.-9 a.m. this week, an hour longer than normal.
There are no beds at the church, but no worries, said Kathy Morgan, OlyCAP director of housing and community development.
Clients can stay the night anyway.
“If they fall asleep, they fall asleep in a chair,” she said. “We don’t want anyone freezing to death.”