The Holiday Motel, 2903 Commercial Ave., is serving as the local cold-weather shelter this winter, Eric Johnson told the City Council Monday.

Johnson, a community volunteer and former City Council member, said the shelter program is being managed by the Anacortes Community Health Council.

“The Anacortes Family Center is the agency that’s vetting the clients that come in, so they know who everyone is and who has the greatest needs,” he said. “… The Salvation Army is providing food.”

The program’s cost of renting rooms at the Holiday Motel for the 111-day duration of the program is $18,315, Johnson said. In addition, the program is paying $3,060 for some spots in Washington Park for RV parking.

The hotel will be open for local people every night through February, not just when the temperature is freezing, Anacortes Family Center Director Dustin Johnson said Tuesday. The center is providing background checks and case management but is not running the shelter.

In past years, a cold-weather shelter operated at the Salvation Army when overnight temperatures were expected to drop to freezing. The shelter provided a safe place for as many as 20-25 people per night, Eric Johnson wrote in a February 2019 post on anacortescoldweathershelter.com. However, that volunteer-run shelter didn’t open last year.

Instead of a shelter, the Anacortes Family Center provided help through a hotel/motel voucher system, which sheltered people in hotel rooms from the end of November until early March. That program, hosted by the center, is still happening this year, Dustin Johnson said.

For assistance, call the Anacortes Family Center at 360-293-2993, ext. 108.

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