County Issues Call for Winter Warming Space

The Washtenaw County office of community & economic development and the Washtenaw Housing Alliance are seeking suggestions for sites that can be used during the upcoming winter months as warming spaces for the homeless.

In a press release issued on Aug. 22, the OCED described a list of specifications needed for these sites [.pdf of press release]:

  • Include a single room to accommodate approximately 50 adults lying down on thick mats (approximately 1,500 square feet)
  • Be accessible to limited-mobility individuals
  • Have multiple, accessible bathrooms on site
  • Ideally equipped with showers and/or a kitchen prep space
  • Space should be available every night of the week (roughly 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.) minimally from January 1 to March 31, 2015 – with potential to begin earlier than January 1 if weather dictates
  • Ideally have storage space for stacked sleeping mats during daytime hours.

Any information about possible sites should be directed to to Amanda Carlisle, director of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance, at by Friday, Sept. 5.

This outreach is the result of efforts by a Winter Emergency Shelter/Warming Center Response workgroup, which has been focused on ensuring a more coordinated and sufficient response to the demands for the 2014-15 winter. From the press release: “As a result of the initial meetings of this workgroup, a need has been identified for space to host an expanded overnight warming center for individual adults for the 2015 winter season. The committee has identified a provider for the staffing of this additional overnight warming center and is working to identify the resources to support the operation of it; however, the committee has not yet identified an ideal space to host this temporary overnight warming center for the winter months.”

For background on this issue, see Chronicle coverage: “County Board Briefed on Shelter Services” and “County Board Discusses Homelessness.”