City of Aberdeen proposal on agenda to purchase property for homeless shelter

The City of Aberdeen is anticipated to vote on a proposal to submit an application to Grays Harbor County for funding to assist in the purchase of property for a homeless shelter in Junction City.

Image from City of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen City Council agenda for Wednesday features a Request for Council Action to authorize the City Administrator to apply for funding as part of a request for proposals from the county.

The county had advertised the RFP to purchase or designate property to be used to provide emergency shelter for an indefinite period. 

In a letter prepared for submission, the city stated that they “prepared to take its homeless response efforts to more effective and sustainable heights” by purchasing a 4-acre piece of property that includes a 5,500+ square foot building as the new site for a transitional shelter for unhoused individuals.

According to the agenda, the City has set aside $200,000 to acquire the property, with county funds to be used to add more money towards the purchase. 

The property, in Junction City, is proposed to include approximately 100 Conestoga huts for housing for homeless adults who are waiting for affordable housing to become available. 

The City is also proposing to remodel a 5,000+ square footage building to host laundry, showers, staff offices, a kitchen, a day room, and spaces to support case management programs and coordinated services. 

Image from City of Aberdeen

The proposal states that the location would meet the needs of nearly 1,000 people and the property is connected to all utilities, accessible by bus and paved walking path, has offices, bathrooms, and acreage for some expansion of services. 

On Tuesday evening, Mayor Douglas Orr requested that residents come to the meeting to give their input on allowing the city to apply for the RFP.

“We need this shelter if we ever want to get control of our city back from the homeless takeover. Let’s build the shelter and create the starting point for all of our county’s unhoused to begin the path back into regular society.

There will be a group at the council that is apposed to helping the homeless.  They don’t want this solution to take place. Doesn’t seem like they are willing to talk so much as just ambush the vote. Our city really needs this homeless shelter to happen. Please lend your voice to this call for action. Let’s do what’s best for our community and not allow the minority to squelch this.”

According to the proposal, the City of Aberdeen is seeking a partnership with a community resource partner to provide on-site operations, case management, and organization of the coordinated services of individuals who are sheltered at the location.

If purchased, the city plans to annex the property into city limits.