The Samaritan House’s Safe & Warm Shelter will have longer hours into the morning and be able to accommodate more overnight sleeps this coming winter after Brandon City Council unanimously approved giving Samaritan House $69,000 toward an expansion project on Wednesday. Samaritan House has also raised and set aside $20,000 itself for the project.
A Brandon Sun report today indicates that as a result the shelter will be able to accommodate ten additional overnight sleeps after renovations are complete this coming year and hours into the morning will be extended to 10am rather than the previous 8:30am. Work is expected to begin later this summer in order to complete in time for the shelter’s opening of doors for the winter on November 1.
The shelter last winter provided 1600 bed nights. Its capability to meet community need had become a worry with overnight freezing temperatures appearing well into the month of March and the shelter only capable of staying open to March 31. According to weather data Brandon’s overnight low reached -15 as late as March 25 this past year with nights in early April falling to as far as -7 and -6. Future expansion hopes would allow an opening earlier than the current November 1 and a seasonal closure later than March 31.
The Safe & Warm Shelter is described on the Samaritan House website as an emergency shelter designated for adults who experience occasional homelessness. It is fully staffed with trained support workers and security guards who ensure safety and assistance for clients.