Emergency winter shelter to open in Linn County Friday

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- As winter weather hits eastern Iowa, people who don't have a home will now have a new warm place to lay their head at night.

The Fillmore Center in Cedar Rapids on Sept. 18, 2019 (Taylor Holt/KCRG)

The emergency winter overflow shelter will open Friday, November 15 at 6 p.m. The shelter is in the County-owned Fillmore Building, 520 11th Street Northwest. Linn County's Child and Youth Development Services will be moving from this building to the new Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris Building this week, so the space will be open for the shelter.

“With winter hitting early, this will be a life-saving place for dozens of our community members. This is a great start towards ensuring the safety of all people in Linn County," Executive Director of Willis Dady Homeless Services Phoebe Trepp said.

Linn County owns the building but is contracting overflow shelter services to Willis Dady Homeless Services. The shelter will be opened and staffed from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day of the week until February 15.

Anyone who would like to donate can bring packed food items, like tuna packets and granola bars, to Willis Dady between 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. The shelter is also collecting clean blankets, coats, hats, scarves and gloves.

In the future, Linn County would like to create a homeless services resource center and a day center that would provide Wi-Fi, laundry facilities and other resources.