Marysville has a new emergency cold weather shelter to help provide a warm and safe place for local homeless individuals during freezing nights.
Government officials worked with the local Generations Church to set up a new shelter as the temperature dropped well below freezing for multiple days after a Dec. 26 snowfall.
The new shelter began operating on Dec. 29 and continued through the recent winter storm.
They plan to open for the rest of the season, as well during any nights where the forecast expects the temperature to drop below 34 degrees.
“We’ll plan on going forward with the cold weather shelter and continuing to provide it,” said Craig Laughlin, pastor at Generations Church.
Doors for the shelter open at 7 p.m. and close at 9:30 p.m.
Cots, blankets, pillows, snacks and water are provided.
The church is located at 8240 64th St. NE in Marysville and Community Transit offers free bus service for riders who tell the driver they are going to or from the shelter.
Community Transit routes such as 209 or 222 have stops close to the church.
The Marysville shelter came together fairly quickly as city of Marysville and Snohomish County officials reached out to local organizations.
“Honestly, it is tough to find a place that is willing to host a cold weather shelter,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, who added the city and the Marysville Fire District’s Fire Marshal worked together to fast track the approval for this shelter.
Laughlin said the Generations Church community hopes to help those in need.
“Jesus cared profoundly about the powerless and the poor,” he said. “That is a part of who we are and what we want to do.”
The shelter project came together very fast, he said.
“It was kind of a crazy time,” he said. “We stood the whole thing up in about 48 hours, when usually you take a lot of time to plan these things out.”
Marysville hasn’t had a permanent cold weather shelter for a couple of years now due to COVID and the former Marysville Emergency Cold Weather Shelter losing its facility.
“I was looking at the weather which was going to be 9 degrees and I thought ‘oh my gosh, they still have nowhere to go here,’” said Laughlin.
The city had relied on hotel vouchers to fill the need when a shelter was unavailable, however those vouchers are limited in availability and Nehring said a permanent shelter is a better option.
Laughlin said he was glad that the church could help and that they served about four individuals in each of their first two days.
“It’s going good for the most part,” he said. “We anticipate it growing as the word gets out more.”
Nehring wanted to thank the people who came together to make the new shelter a possibility.
“Kudos to Pastor Laughlin and the volunteers which they have for at least tonight,” he said. “These things can only go as far as people will take them and it takes a lot of volunteers."
Usually cold weather shelters are only open for a day or two at a time.
“But every once in a while you get times like now where it is five to six days in a row,” said Laughlin.
“When you’re asking for people to stay up all night, they can get burnt out pretty quickly that way,” he added.
A large pool of volunteers can help manage that.
Laughlin also thanked the city and Snohomish County staff for their help and additional resources that helped begin the shelter.