WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The emergency homeless shelter in Watertown will cut down its hours after the start of the new year, according to a press release from the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.
On January 4, 2022, the 24-hour shelter, located at 137 Main Avenue in the City of Watertown will transition to a 12-hour model, by opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m.
This shelter was first set up on November 18, 2022, ahead of the massive early-winter storm by Legislator Scott Gray and property owner PJ Simao.
Once established approximately 15 people were moved from Watertown’s Butler pavilion to the shelter. This number then grew to 35 and then dropped to 18 as of December 29.
The Jefferson County Board of Legislators said in the press release that the temporary shelter has “proven especially valuable to the [homeless] population.”
However, once the hours switch, those residing in the shelter will be directed to move to a recently opened warming center located at the Salvation Army.
The warming center will provide places to sleep, laundry services and showers, according to the press release. People will also be permitted to bring a limited amount of personal belongings and kennels will be available for dogs.
In the Watertown area, the following agencies also operate drop-in centers during normal business hours:
- Mental Health Association, 425 Washington Street
- Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, 210 Court Street
- The Care Center at the Watertown Urban Mission, 247 Factory Street
- Anchor Recovery Center, 241 State Street
- PFC Dwyer Vet Peer to Peer program, 247 State Street
The board also said in the press release that following January 4, the temporary daytime shelter will be evaluated weekly to determine if it needs to remain open.
Jefferson County’s Community Homelessness Steering Committee is also set to present its findings and recommendations to address homelessness in the community in the upcoming weeks.