- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa City Council has approved funding for a temporary homeless shelter in a former grocery store to keep people from freezing during the winter.

Council members unanimously voted Tuesday to spend up to $20,000 on the project that will be housed in a former Aldi’s building, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (https://icp-c.com/1AaoUPW ) reported. The short-term housing solution will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day in January and February, said executive director Crissy Canganelli of Shelter House, a homeless organization.

The temporary shelter, which won’t offer support services, will be open to people who are turned away from other shelters for reasons such as intoxication.

“This is the right thing to do, period,” Mayor Matt Hayek said. “On the issue of a more permanent solution, if that’s in the works, I am sympathetic to the location issues, and it’s something that bears discussion. But time is of the essence and the temperature today is an indication of that.”

Last year, the Iowa City police station and part of the City Hall lobby were used to house people during cold nights. Council members said that wasn’t ideal.

“I am very supportive of this proposal. Originally, I was very concerned about security and there were similar concerns last winter, but this is not hard to vote for,” said council member Rick Dobyns. “I recognize the long-term solution is going to be far more difficult, and I look forward to working on that.”


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, https://www.press-citizen.com/

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