ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced that two city facilities will be used as temporary homeless shelters as officials prepare more shelter spaces amid the pandemic. Officials estimate that there are currently about 304 people experiencing homelessness in St. Paul.
Harriet Island Pavilion and Duluth and Case Recreation Center will be able to accommodate those in need when existing shelters are at capacity. The temporary shelters can help up to 100 residents experiencing homelessness - 50 at each facility.
According to a release from the mayor's office, the sites will be activated when shelters at Catholic Charities, Union Gospel Mission, and the Ramsey County Safe Space reach capacity. Under those circumstances, unsheltered adults will be referred to the temporary shelters through established referral protocols, with Catholic Charities acting as the primary referral source.
The two Parks and Recreation facilities will be staged and available for activation through December 31, 2020 when non-emergency shelter capacity is scheduled to be operational at Bethesda Hospital.
The shelters will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. and will have trained staff managing the facilities, as well as overnight security available.
According to the mayor's office, amid the pandemic, the city has seen a rise in the number of unsheltered individuals living in tents, under bridges, in the woods, and in caves in the city. The crisis has strained existing shelter systems, as they have had to reduce their usable space to provide safe, socially distant services and accommodations for emergency shelter.
Shelters and capacity:
- Ramsey County Safe Space: 64-bed capacity
- Union Gospel Mission: 177-bed capacity
- Higher Ground: 178-bed capacity
- Elder’s Shelter: 115-bed capacity
- Mary Hall: 114-bed capacity
- Women’s Couple’s-Shelter: 80-bed capacity
For more information on the city's plan to address homelessness, click here.