GLENS FALLS — An eight-bed homeless shelter for men is nearing completion in Glens Falls, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled next week.
Its opening would mark the first and only year-round adult homeless shelter serving Warren and Washington counties, said Kim Cook, president and CEO of the nonprofit Open Door Mission.
According to a January 2017 count by the Capital Region to End Homelessness, there were 247 homeless people in the area of the “Saratoga North Country,” which the group said included Glens Falls and other parts of Warren, Saratoga and Washington counties. The shelter could help decrease that number when it opens to residents, which is planned for in the next couple of weeks.
The two-story property is located at 226 Warren St. It was purchased by Servants of the World, the parent company of Open Door, in December 2016 for $450,000, real property records show.
Renovations began in September last year, with plans to open in November, delayed to December, and then delayed again after there were issues with the site’s water and sewer.
Funding had become a concern, too, but Cook said by waiting until the spring to work on the water and sewer, the organization was able to cut down on the costs. On April 30, Cook said contractors took care of the water and sewer issues.
Construction and renovation has cost about $650,000, Cook said. There’s still some last-minute finishing up to do, but Cook said she hoped to have a certificate of occupancy sometime this week.
A ribbon-cutting is set for Wednesday.
Open Door’s offices will be moving in first before the doors officially open to residents.
“It’s really exciting to move into this space,” Cook said. “We’ve come a long way. We’ve got a lot further to go, but we really want to celebrate that we’ve got here, and the community has supported us.”
In addition to the shelter, there will be a resource center and classroom where people can come to make connections and find resources. Cook said there will be a resource navigator on hand to assist. There will also be a community space.
“It’s really going to be about relationships,” Cook said, “so they can get a relationship with people who are offering services, and we really want to walk beside them to help them get out of poverty.”
The Warren Street location will also be a Code Blue shelter. That means during the winter months when temperatures are dangerously low, both men and women will be allowed into the shelter for refuge. Cook said there are plans to include a designated space for women in the future, but right now she said the need is greatest for men.
Cook said in future phases, her organization hopes to open 50 beds to the homeless. She also hopes one day that the organization’s soup kitchen, now at 47 Lawrence St., would move to the new location. The Lawrence Street space would be sold, and the Warren Street building would include a new dining area, food pantry and chapel.