Downtown apartments to serve as Bismarck's emergency shelter
BISMARCK (AP) — United Way plans to lease part of an apartment building in downtown Bismarck for an emergency homeless shelter.
Missouri Slope Areawide United Way has been housing individuals since Ruth Meier’s Hospitality House closed its emergency men’s shelter in October.
Executive Director Jena Gullo told the Bismarck Tribune that part of Sunrise Apartments will be used as Bismarck’s new emergency shelter. The owners are giving the agency a rent discount for about 14 rooms.
The four-story, 74-unit building is at 70 percent occupancy before the emergency homeless shelter lease, according to Apartment owner Taylor Rash.
Gullo said the shelter portion of the apartment complex will be in a secured wing, where the agency will have a case manager on hand and serve meals three nights a week. She said the rooms will be furnished with donated beds and house between two and six individuals. They also will provide help finding employment and counseling.
United Way is covering costs with designated donations, but the organization is still in need of cleaning supplies and hygiene items to keep costs down.
United Way hasn’t settled dates to transition to the apartment building. The agency plans to operate the shelter until at least July, and then transfer responsibility to a permanent operator.
“We don’t know what the best long-term solution is going to be,” Gullo said. “We stopped the bleeding, we got people sheltered, and now we’re looking to the future.”