Snohomish County cold weather shelters start regular season Nov. 1
Story is below list of available local shelters
Cold Weather Shelters, check your local shelter for information when each lets people in for the night:
Monroe Cold Weather Shelter
Address: 342 S. Lewis Street, Monroe
Snohomish Cold Weather Shelter
Snohomish Evangelical Free Church — 210 Ave. B
Everett Cold Weather Shelter
United Church of Christ — 2624 Rockefeller Ave.
Marysville Cold Weather Shelter
Address: 7215 51 Ave. NE, Marysville
South County Cold Weather Shelter
Maple Park Church, 17620 60th Ave. W., Lynnwood
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Plummeting evening temps prompted several cold weather shelters in Snohomish County to open several days earlier than scheduled.
Cold weather shelters in Monroe, Everett and Marysville opened Oct. 27 because forecasts showed temperatures would dip into the 20s.
“This really does save lives,” said Lynsey Gagnon, executive director of Community Resource Centers for the Volunteers of America of Western Washington. The organization coordinates cold weather shelters that are located at churches in Monroe, Snohomish, and Lynnwood.
Cold weather shelters were originally scheduled to open Nov. 1. They are available whenever the evening temperatures are forecasted to fall to 34 degrees or lower. They will be available until March 15.
Monroe’s cold weather shelter is in a new location this season at Monroe United Methodist Church, 342 S. Lewis St. Snohomish’s shelter is at Snohomish Evangelical Free Church, 210 Ave. B. Lynnwood’s is at Maple Park Church, 17620 60th Ave. W..
“There is no greater mission to support then providing something that saves a life,” said Nancy Franke, financial secretary and member of the executive council at Monroe United Methodist.
She said Volunteers of America asked the church to host an overnight cold weather shelter for the upcoming season. The church already provides a food pantry and clothing bank. “We’re a mission-oriented church,” Franke said.
Monroe United Methodist Church and Morning Star Lutheran churches are in the process of combining into one church that will be known as United in Grace, Franke said. The two churches have held combined services since the pandemic.
The Monroe cold weather shelter also serves Sultan and Gold Bar through transportation provided between Monroe and the two cities. Transportation leaves Gold Bar Park and Ride at 6:30 p.m. and the Sultan Library at 7:45 p.m. the evenings cold weather shelters are open.
The Everett Gospel Mission organizes a cold weather shelter at Everett United Church of Christ, 2624 Rockefeller Ave. that started its season Nov. 1. The church is currently home to a shelter with 40 beds. John Hull, a director at the Everett Gospel Mission, said an additional 40 beds will be available in the church’s fellowship hall during nights when the cold weather shelter is activated.
“Our capacity isn’t as high as what we’d like,” Hull said. Overflow at the cold weather shelter will be sent to the mission.
Last year, its cold weather shelter was at First Baptist Church.
Cold weather shelters last winter were open 69 nights. Gagnon said shelters are preparing for a similar number of nights for this season and are bracing for a cold winter.
“You can’t predict weather,” Gagnon said.
Monroe’s shelter previously took place at New Hope Fellowship but Gagnon said it was moved to United Methodist downtown because it’s in a more accessible part of Monroe. It’s close to bus lines and other services.
She added that New Hope Fellowship will continue to provide volunteers, meals and food for the cold weather shelter.
Volunteers of America coordinates the cold weather shelters in Monroe and Snohomish and helps find volunteers for the season, Gagnon said.
Finding volunteers can be challenging especially when a cold snap lasts for weeks.
Gagnon said the longest number of consecutive days cold weather shelters were open last winter was 14 days. It takes around 70 volunteers to operate the shelters in Monroe and Snohomish.
“The more volunteers, the better,” Gagnon said. “We can always find something for volunteers to do.”
The Snohomish and Monroe shelters have shifts where volunteers prepare the shelter and then serve guests meals and get them settled for the evening. A morning shift is also available to wake guests, serve breakfast and clean up.
To volunteer for overnight cold weather shelters in Monroe and Snohomish, go to volunteer.voaww.org.
For information about when and where cold weather shelters are open in Snohomish County, go to https://snohomish-county-public-safety-hub-snoco-gis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/cold-weather-shelters or type in www.bit.ly/snococold
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