Updated: May 19, 2020 05:22 AM
Created: May 06, 2020 09:07 PM
(ABC 6 News)-- UPDATE: The Day Center located in the Mayo Civic Center will now remain open for at least another month.
Full details can be found on the City of Rochester website.
The Rochester warming center will close at the end of May after a two-month extension.
"One of the things that we've had to do is to come up with some budget flexibility to be able to respond to the pandemic," said Dave Dunn, the Director of the Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).
From November 1 to March 31, the warming center provides overnight shelter to the homeless community. When COVID-19 began to evolve during the final month of the season officials with the HRA extended the facilities operations.
In an effort to follow the recommendations of state and health officials, the center was moved from the fourth street location to Mayo Civic Center, allowing space to social distance a larger number of people.
Dunn said that during the decision to extend the shelter's operations, the committee wanted to work on longer-term solutions like permanent housing.
"We've been working with several hotels in the community to house people that are high risk or families when it comes to domestic violence," said Dunn.
With a tight COVID-19 budget, Dunn said closing the shelter will allow for HRA to move into the next phase of working through the pandemic.
"What we'll also be doing is working with and developing kind of a strategy, and we've already been doing this with the folks at the warming center and the day center to develop a housing strategy for them with our goal to try and find as many people permanent homes as we can," said Dunn.
He adds that during this time HRA has been able to house several people from those at high risk of severe illness, veterans, and families.
With the shelter closing at the end of May Dunn said they will continue to work to house those in need.
"We're not going to bet a thousand, we're not going to get them all but I think we've already been successful in over a dozen instances and we have several more that we're working with every day to find housing," said Dunn.
When the overnight shelter closes, day center operations will continue at Mayo Civic Center.
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