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City Walk Urban Mission aims to open shelter as winter draws near

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 23:17:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The need for shelter as the winter months draw closer has one local organization stepping up to help.

City Walk Urban Mission is looking to open an emergency shelter for people who will need a break from the cold. With the holidays coming up and eviction moratoriums ending throughout Florida, they say the need is about to grow in a big way.

The Executive Director of City Walk, Renee Miller, says she understands it's a big undertaking but this an urgent matter, especially with COVID-19.

"They're not in a hotel they're not in a program they are living outside," said Miller.

There has been no walk-in emergency shelter in Tallahassee since March of this year, and over 700 people in Leon County experience homelessness on any given day.

"There's a need for a night by night emergency shelter," said Amanda Wanders, the executive director of Big Bend Continuum of Care.

The mission which serves the homeless and transition housing decided to delay their expansion of transitional housing to open up an emergency shelter. Still, they ask for the community's help to get this done, starting with a fundraiser with a goal of $100,000.

City Walk Urban Mission is looking to join in the fight with other local agencies, opening up a shelter to eliminate homelessness.

"We're looking for there to be a very large increase in people who are displaced in the next 60 days because the moratorium on evictions has stopped," Miller said. "Not every job has recovered, so there's definitely an increase in how many people are unhoused."

The shelter would be able to house, at a minimum, 30 people with social distancing.

They are currently looking at two properties for the shelter and plan to open up the shelter no later than November 20.

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