(HOLYOKE) — In anticipation of the upcoming freezing temperatures, Mayor Joshua A. Garcia is announcing an agreement between the City of Holyoke and the Mount Tom Masonic Lodge to offer a pop-up warming shelter. The shelter is located at 235 Chestnut Street in Holyoke and will be open for any residents in-need from 4:00pm on Friday, January 21st, to 4:00pm on Saturday, January 22nd.
“As the temperature drops to dangerously low levels this Friday, we will be offering a space for residents in-need to escape the cold,” said Garcia. “I am proud of the urgency and empathy the community has shown over the last few days and would like to thank the Masonic Lodge for stepping up. This arrangement will provide an adequate short-term solution as we explore options for the long term.”
Earlier this week, Mayor Garcia had announced that the Holyoke Police Department would offer space for residents to shelter from the cold. The arrangement was temporary, as the City sought a more suitable solution.
After extensive community outreach efforts, the City’s Emergency Management Department–in collaboration with One Holyoke CDC, the Holyoke Fire Department, and the Center for Human Development of Western MA–will be supporting the Mount Tom Masonic Lodge to provide a warm space, food, and bedding. The shelter will be staffed by shifts of trained professionals with experience in both addiction and homeless services. The City of Holyoke will be covering the expenses for all supplies and staffing.
The shelter’s rules are as follows:
1. Masks and social distancing will be required unless eating or drinking. Masks will be available on-site.
2. Alcohol or drug use in the shelter is prohibited.
3. Shelter occupants are exempt from all areas of the building other than the dining hall and restrooms.
If you have any questions, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-561-1600.