The Linn County Overflow Shelter located at the Fillmore Center (520 11th Street NW) will close on May 31, 2021. The overflow shelter, which typically runs from approximately November to March annually to address winter housing needs, has remained open since March 2020 to provide a 24-hour safety net to address residents’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As social distancing was critical to public safety, many permanent shelters in Cedar Rapids were operating at reduced capacity in order to meet CDC requirements. The overflow shelter provided additional shelter opportunity in a safe environment for those without housing options. The closure comes as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
“The overflow shelter was a collaborative effort between the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Willis Dady, and local service providers to help ensure our most vulnerable populations had a safe, secure place to stay during a public health crisis, as well as following the catastrophic derecho,” said Brad Hart, Cedar Rapids Mayor.
Since November 2019, the shelter has served more than 600 unique individuals, with an average of 64 people on any given night. Since July 1, 2020, the shelter has provided more than 13,000 overnight stays.
“Linn County’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter provides a valuable and necessary service during the cold winter months,” said Ben Rogers, Linn County Supervisor. “In partnership with the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County is working on improving homeless and sheltering services particularly during day time hours when traditional shelters are closed.”
The City of Cedar Rapids continues to work with Linn County and local service providers to find permanent housing options for households, as well as work individually with families who can be matched with existing housing resources in the community.
“We continue to refer individuals to Shelter Services for shelter placement or diversion efforts. Our street outreach team will continue assisting households to meet their basic needs and get them into housing and access to other services,” says Alicia Faust, Executive Director of Willis Dady.