PRESS-CITIZEN | The Shelter House — currently Johnson County’s only homeless shelter — received a permit from the City of Iowa City Wednesday to allow people to stay in its lobby overnight in the case of extremely cold weather, according to Mark Sertterh, Shelter House associate executive director.
The permit allows the facility to increase its capacity from 70 to 100, and will stretch its financial resources, but Sertterh said they’re going to do what they can to offer a shelter.
Friday night is expected to drop down to about 16 degrees, and people living on the street like Greg Chandler are already cold as it is.
“I have four blankets,” Chandler said. “And I’m cold. There’s a big concern here. Snow’s coming.”
Sertterh estimates that any time when their winter shelter isn’t open there are about 25 to 30 people living without shelter in Iowa City. A count of unsheltered people in January found a total of five people, when the Low Barrier Winter Emergency Shelter was running. He said they plan to open that shelter by Dec. 3, when they have volunteers recruited and trained.
Hillary Ojeda, Iowa City Press-Citizen Published 5:16 p.m. CT Nov. 8, 2018