With freezing winter temperatures coming soon, one organization is gearing up to help keep the homeless community warm and safe.
It’s only the end of August, but we all know that in the not too distant future it’s going to be cold and people, especially the homeless, will need a place to warm themselves.
That’s where this building, the former Emergency Shelter in Minot, will come into play.
Project Bee, once known as the YWCA, is working to provide an overnight shelter where women, children and men can get out of the cold.
Allie Walsh, the development director, said the warming center will benefit the community.
“Of course we know that Minot winters are not tolerable to be outside for any period of time,” said Walsh. “Let alone overnight. So we do that think this is something the community needs and we’re hoping to fill that gap.”
Project Bee plans to have the warming center open on Oct. 1 and the hours will be from 7 p.m. until 8 a.m.
The shelter plans to provide a hot dinner as well as a take-away breakfast in the morning, In addition, the center will have showers and laundry facilities.
These services will especially benefit the homeless population that has a job.
“Somebody that doesn’t have somewhere to stay at night isn’t going to be able to do their laundry and take a shower and prepare for work the next day,” said Walsh. “But with our program and this opportunity for them, they will.”
Mac McLeod, the executive director of the Minot Area Homeless Coalition, said his group has talked about this type of facility for years and it’s nice to see it happening.
“You’re stranded, there’s snow on the ground,” said McLeod. “The temperature is 15 below zero and you don’t have much. What would you do?”
There is not an exact number of homeless in the area, but McLeod is confident the shelter will be used.
“When there’s something that’s available, people will reach out to it,” said McLeod.
There’s a good deal of work to be completed in the building over the next month, and Project Bee is counting on the public’s help now and throughout the coming cold season.
Project Bee is looking for volunteers to work shifts at the Warming Center.