FCHC news & events

Urge City Council to Provide Safer Shelter Space For People who are Without Housing

December 14, 2020

Background: The COVID pandemic has significantly amplified the longstanding problem of inadequate housing in Fort Collins. Currently, people without housing are warehoused in the Food Bank Shelter at night, and are only given day shelter during particularly extreme weather. Most days, the Murphy Center can only provide outdoor areas where people must endure winter temperatures with only patio heaters for relief. The recent outbreak at the Food Bank shelter, with over 50 people testing positive, has highlighted the health crisis that is created when people are forced to shelter in congregate settings. We must demand change.

Key Points:

  • It is essential that people be given non-congregate shelter alternatives (i.e. motel rooms), particularly during the pandemic.
  • By not allowing people access to non-congregate shelter, the City is contributing to the public health crisis.
  • 54 people at the Food Bank Shelter tested positive for COVID last week, both staff and people without housing. This could have been avoided if non-congregate shelter systems were in place.
    • A similar outbreak at Harvest Farm underscores the danger of congregate shelters.
  • While Westminster Church is available as a day shelter when temperatures stay below 32 degrees, people are still expected to endure extremely harsh conditions throughout the winter 
    • For example, on Dec 14, people were forced to leave the Food Bank Warehouse Shelter at 7am. It was 22 degrees. They had to make the trek to the Murphy Center, which offered outdoor space with only patio heating.
  • As a community, we must do better. The City must fund non-congregate shelters.

Take action: tell City Leaders that they must fund non-congregate shelters.

The next City Council meeting is December 15 at 6pm. You can attend via phone or Zoom. https://www.fcgov.com/cityclerk/agendas.php

You can also write council members at cityleaders@fcgov.com