Lighthouse Mission opens new emergency shelter

Lighthouse Mission Ministries has opened a new 80-bed emergency homeless shelter in Bellingham. The mission converted its daytime drop-in center at 1013 West Holly St. to the new overnight shelter, which will serve men. Guests will be asked to follow some basic behavioral expectations, and accommodations will be made for guests with pets. There are no religious requirements to receive services.

“An easy-access shelter is Bellingham’s most pressing need when it comes to our most vulnerable populations,” said Hans Erchinger-Davis, Executive Director of Lighthouse Mission Ministries. “This will be the first step for many people who are chronically homeless. The goal is to get them into the Mission’s continuum of care and out of homelessness.”

According to the Whatcom County Homeless Census, the number of homeless people in Whatcom County has steadily risen since 2012. The mission will continue to operate its 40-bed emergency shelter. Previously used by both men and women, that shelter will now be used just by women.

The annual cost of operating the emergency shelter is $200,000. The mission is seeking donations to cover the additional expenses.

The mission has been helping people experiencing homelessness since 1923. It serves more than 300 hot meals daily and already had been providing shelter for around 150 people each day. To make a donation or learn more about the mission’s services, call (360) 733-5120, or visit www.thelighthousemission.org.

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