Verdant supports cold weather services aimed at helping those without permanent housing

The Verdant Health Commission said it has funded two organizations that provide critical services to help the unhoused during winter months: South County Fire and the Cold Weather Shelter.

As the cold winter months take hold, homeless individuals become increasingly vulnerable to health risks such as frostbite, hypothermia and even death, Verdant said in a press release. Commissioners approved a $5,000 grant to South County Fire for Just-In-Time kits that first responders will provide to homeless individuals for immediate relief. Kits will include a dry set of clothes, hand and foot warmers, a blanket and a rain poncho to offset the elements. Each kit also includes a card offering services for longer-term resources to address their immediate needs.

In South Snohomish County, there is only one identified cold weather shelter available, The Cold Weather Shelter, which opens when temperatures are 34 degrees or lower. Once the shelter is open, residents come indoors at night and must leave by 7 a.m. — and the homeless spend most of the day outside. The Verdant Health Commission funded a $5,000 grant to the Cold Weather Shelter for COVID-19 cleaning supplies, shelter monitoring and connecting guests to community resources, as well as purchasing new and replacement blankets.

“Verdant is dedicated to addressing the health of South Snohomish County residents, especially those who are not housed,” said Commissioner Deana Knutson. “Our partnership with these agencies will ensure that residents, who are outdoors, have access to supplies and resources during their journey towards sustainable housing,” she added.

For more information about the Just-In-Time kits, contact Shawneri Guzman, Community Outreach Manager at South County Fire (425-551-1254) or sguzman@southsnofire.org..  To learn more about supporting the Cold Weather Shelter (CWS), contact Lisa Utter, CWS Board Chair, (425-778-0182) or eldt61@yahoo.com.

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