The new men’s cold weather shelter on Southeast Chapman Place will open tonight.
The shelter, which is using the old Hanson Tire Factory shop this winter season, will open at 7 p.m., said Shawn Collins, project manager with the Housing Opportunities Action Council. Those in poor health will be admitted at 6 p.m., with the doors locking for the night at 8 p.m.
Collins said the shelter had received the OK from city staff to open on a temporary basis until work on the bathrooms is completed.
“We’re adding some portable toilets and hand-washing stations in the interim. Otherwise we’ll be ready Saturday night,.” Collins said.
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The shelter replaces a controversial one that operated for four years on Southwest Fourth Street. That site produced consistent complaints from neighbors, and the City Council chose not to provide funding at the site beyond the 2016-17 winter season.
Collins, who works for the United Way of Benton and Lincoln Counties, was hired to try to find a replacement building. Locating a suitable site proved challenging. Eventually the Hanson site was secured. The building is owned by Devco Engineering, which plans to use it for office space after the winter shelter season closes at the end of March. Devco also chipped in $35,000 to assist with renovations.
The shelter will be operated by volunteers coordinated by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Funding came largely from the city of Corvallis and Benton County, which allocated $60,000 apiece.