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“Lives are at stake... ,” so Lighthouse is expanding its emergency overnight shelter

Lighthouse Mission Ministries has launched two efforts to provide emergency overnight shelter for up to 70 more people who are homeless.
Lighthouse Mission Ministries has launched two efforts to provide emergency overnight shelter for up to 70 more people who are homeless. Courtesy to the Bellingham Herald

Winter weather in Bellingham can be brutal, especially if you are one of hundreds of homeless people living on the streets.

But help is on the way.

Lighthouse Mission Ministries has launched two efforts to provide emergency overnight shelter for up to 70 more people who are homeless.

Work has begun that will enable 30 more men to sleep in the dining room at Lighthouse Mission Ministries, 910 W. Holly St., according to Hans Erchinger-Davis, the mission’s executive director. The project, estimated to cost $10,000, should be completed in January.

“Lives are at stake during the cold snaps,” Erchinger-Davis said. “Thirty additional beds will give people a fighting chance, where no one gets turned away due to capacity constraints.”

Lighthouse Mission Ministries is also partnering with Fountain Community Church, which opened a 40-bed Severe Weather Shelter on Dec. 1. That shelter is at 2100 Broadway St.

“The Severe Weather Shelter now is consistently open every night from Dec. 1 through the end of February, rather than on only the coldest nights of the season or when we were reaching capacity,” Erchinger-Davis said. “It is run by Fountain Community Church and their volunteers, offers housing for single women and has limited availability for women with children.”

Currently, approximately 230 men, women and children receive shelter and care from Lighthouse Mission each night and 350 meals are served daily, Erchinger-Davis said. Religious programing is not required for those seeking help.

Hans Erchinger-Davis, executive director of Lighthouse Mission Ministries, talks about the services provided by the mission on Thursday, Aug. 3, in Bellingham.

Last year Lighthouse Mission converted its daytime Drop-In Center at 1013 W. Holly St. to also serve as an overnight emergency shelter for up to 80 men.

Those using the shelter, which is open 24 hours a day, are asked to follow some basic behavioral expectations, and accommodations are made for people who have pets.

To make donations or learn more about Lighthouse Mission Ministries, call 360-733-5120 or go online, thelighthousemission.org.

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