The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Shelter House Emergency Shelter set to receive renovations

The project is anticipated to last from June to October and the Winter Shelter will be reopened to continue emergency shelter needs.
Emma Calabro
Rod Sullivan speaks during the Johnson County Board of Supervisors meeting at the Johnson County Public Health and Clinical Services building on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

The Iowa City Shelter House Emergency Shelter is set to renovate the single adult dormitories, bathrooms, and stairwells to improve the safety of guests and staff.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved a request by Shelter House to reopen the Winter Shelter for the duration of the project to continue uninterrupted emergency shelter services.

The Shelter House Emergency Shelter House is located at 429 Southgate Ave. The Winter Shelter is located at 340 Southgate Ave. The Shelter House provides 70 beds, along with 60 permanent supportive housing units. The project is anticipated to start in June and go through October 2024.

Because of the timeline of the renovations, Shelter House Executive Director Crissy Canganelli said to the board that the Shelter House program requires more space to house single adults during construction.

The Winter Shelter is usually only open from December to March to offer more beds during low temperatures. The Winter Shelter provides 70 beds for children, adults, and families experiencing homelessness in Iowa City.

The renovation at the Shelter House Emergency Shelter will build up the railing around the stairs and open area of the second floor. According to a report from Shelter House submitted to the supervisors, the stairs have been designated as a high-risk area for safety concerns at the shelter.

The renovations will also reconfigure the bathrooms in the dormitory to increase accessibility as well as privacy. The study and playroom will be reconfigured to fit two additional family rooms and add another family bathroom where a portion of the laundry room currently sits.

The remainder of the laundry room will be reconfigured into a workstation to create two permanent workstations to assist in emergencies during the evening hours. The final renovation in the report is to expand the entryway of the shelter to increase visibility and space for individuals.

The west side of the second floor of the Shelter House will remain open during renovations to accommodate housing specifically for families. The renovations are not expected to create interruptions in that area, according to the report.

RELATED: Johnson County to provide Shelter house with $60,000 for eviction diversion services

Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass said the Winter Shelter house was created in the case of emergencies, and agrees that moving to the Winter location makes sense. The board agreed that the renovations seem necessary and the Shelter house requires much-needed improvement.

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