Winter Overflow Homeless Shelter
Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids are partnering with Willis Dady Homeless Services to open a cold weather overflow homeless shelter in Cedar Rapids. This need has been identified to keep unsheltered residents safe from the cold weather this winter. The shelter is scheduled to open Nov. 15, 2022, and will remain open as an overflow location through the winter months.
The overflow shelter, located at 1017 12th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids, will help people in need of temporary housing and shelter during cold weather months when the traditional homeless shelters are full. Linn County purchased the building where the shelter will be located using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The former winter overflow shelter at Linn County's Fillmore Building will no longer be operational.
Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids are jointly sharing the cost of the shelter operations. Willis Dady will run the shelter and oversee the day-to-day operations. Willis Dady has committed to having four staff members at the overflow shelter at all times during open hours.
The shelter hours are 6 p.m.-8 a.m. The hours are subject to change during extreme weather when safe shelter may be needed outside of the normal hours. The hours also may be extended when public facilities are closed during the day due to holidays or extreme weather.
Increase in Homelessness in Linn County
The most recent point in time study showed the population living literally homeless on the street in Linn County has increased 230% from July 2019 to July 2022. The Alliance for Equitable Housing, a multi-jurisdictional collaboration formed after the 2020 derecho and led by Linn County, is developing a comprehensive housing solutions plan to identify solutions for the housing issues identified by the community. The Alliance will share the information publicly once it completes its review of the complex housing issue.