Low Barrier Shelter Closes as Partners Seek New Provider

The Foyer, a low-barrier shelter, will close on March 31 due to lack of a service provider.

The Joint Office of Housing Stability (OHS) has been searching for a service provider to take over operations of The Foyer, a low-barrier shelter for unhoused residents. However, due to the lack of an organization with the necessary capacity, the shelter will close on March 31, according to Erin Read, OHS Executive Director.

Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) is working to coordinate alternative living situations for the approximately 12 individuals currently utilizing The Foyer. OHS remains committed to serving the needs of the vulnerable unhoused population and will continue to use data to identify evidence-based solutions.

As of March 27, 2024, VMC is coordinating services for those currently in The Foyer and will continue to operate portable showers through support from the City and the County. The Safe Space is receiving additional lighting, security cameras, and portable bathrooms, while emergency warming centers will open as weather conditions dictate.

OHS will continue to explore options that align with local goals and federal agency standards, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s five keys for operating effective low-barrier shelters. These keys include immediate, low barrier access, a focus on housing, safe and appropriate housing options, rapid-exit services, and data measurement.

The City, the County, and the Office of Housing Stability appreciate VMC’s valuable work in the community and look forward to continued partnerships with them and other homeless service providers. For additional information, contact OHS at 865-599-7475 or via email at [email protected].

Source: Read Original Release