Local Severe Weather Shelter in Friday Harbor is prepared for upcoming freezing temperatures

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA - The United Way of San Juan County's Severe Weather Shelter Team is prepared to be open for upcoming forecasted freezing temperatures starting next week. Volunteer hosts have been notified, and the team is going to do everything possible to ensure the criteria for this temporary shelter opening occurs.

United Way of SJC and its supporters, “Out of the Cold” Severe Weather Shelter will provide overnight shelter to vulnerable people in Friday Harbor during periods of extreme cold weather. The goal of the SWS is to offer temporary shelter for families and individuals when extreme weather occurs.

The Shelter opens when three events transpire together:

1. There are two volunteers signed up for each of two shifts;

2. The weather is inclemently cold around 34 degrees; and

3. An individual or family calls requesting Shelter.


United Way of SJC does not operate a homeless shelter. The SWS is run by volunteers, and funded for severe weather only.

A Homeless Shelter is a staffed, non-profit organization - a completely different organizational structure that UWSJI Severe Weather Shelter is not equipped or licensed to operate.

Anyone needing a warm place to sleep are welcomed when the Severe Weather Shelter criteria are met. When possible, rides may be provided, and are arranged on a case by case basis.

Guests call and leave a message before 2 pm. If the shelter will be open the phone is forwarded and answered by the primary volunteer host for the evening.

The shelter is location is provided upon request. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 7 pm, yet must be in the shelter for the evening by no later than 10 pm.

For more information, call the shelter's messaging service at 360-298-9301. Calls are returned promptly with voice message left.

Also e-mail is checked regularly at outofthecoldsji@gmail.com, and the Facebook page, "Out of the Cold" Severe Weather Shelter Volunteers & Supporters will be monitored.

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