There were some questions flying around on Twitter last night about the city's Cold Weather Overflow Shelter (CWOS) so we reached out to some Council Critters to get as many deets as we could. Information provided below reviews CWOS Operations Info, Additional Resource Info, and CWOS Management Info. At this time, I do not have much information; however, the Mayor's Office's Department of Human Services has started a Homelessness Action Team in partnership with Homeward. Once I get more info on this program, I will update this post with more resources.
[NOTE]: Shout out to Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille for getting us in touch with the appropriate people so quickly as well as Councilman Parker Agelasto's aide Amy Robins for the additional notes and resources.
CWOS Operations Info
The city's CWOS is open every year from October 1st-April 15th from 7PM-10AM when temperatures or wind chills are predicted to be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night. All individuals must report for intake and registration to get a referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7PM-9PM at Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) where the individual will be paired with the appropriate shelter space. If their needs can not be met by an existing shelter or if all beds are filled, they will be referred to the CWOS which is located in the City's Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. There is no food provided and pets are not allowed.
During inclement weather, the shelter may stay open during the day; however, it is not always open during the day. For more information, questions, comments, concerns, or issues regarding the CWOS, Commonwealth Catholic Charities may be contacted at (804)-648-4177.
Information provided below links directly to the state department who manages the various programs. In addition to resources below, individuals can call the Fuel Line (804-646-7046) for additional information.
Elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at 804-343-3000, Monday-Friday (9AM-5PM).
- CRISIS ASSISTANCE: The Department of Social Services offers financial assistance for eligible households in emergency energy situations such as with cost of repair or replacement of heating equipment. Individuals seeking equipment-related and security deposit assistance may apply from Nov 1st-March 15th. Individuals in need of help with the heating fuel and utility bills of the primary heat expense may apply from the first workday in January through March 15th. Additional information regarding eligibility and requirements are available here. APPLY HERE FOR CRISIS ASSISTANCE.
- WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development offers financial assistance for weatherization needs (e.g. repairs/improvements and installation of energy saving measures) for eligible households. APPLY FOR WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE by contacting your local program provider.
- ENERGY ASSISTANCE: ***note: the application period for energy assistance is closed for the year. Individuals seeking assistance need to follow the process for crisis assistance above in cases of emergency*** The Department of Social Services offers financial assistance for eligible households to aid in the cost of heating their home. Fuel assistance applications are accepted from the second Tuesday in October through the second Friday in November. Applicants are notified of their eligibility by mid-December. APPLY HERE FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE (only available in Oct/Nov).
- COOLING ASSISTANCE: ***note: the application period for energy assistance has not opened for the year.*** The Department of Social Services offers financial assistance for eligible households to aid in the cost of cooling their home (e.g. cost to purchase/install window units, repair central air units, pay electric bills/deposits, etc). Different from heating assistance, eligibility for cooling assistance requires the household to have an individual age 60 or older, disabled, or under the age of six. Individuals may apply for cooling assistance from June 15th to August 15th. APPLY FOR COOLING ASSISTANCE HERE (only available in June/July/August).
CWOS Management Info
The CWOS is located in a city building; however, the management of it's operations as a shelter are contracted to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC).
The Office of the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services has direct oversight over the city's Department of Social Services. The Department of Social Services manages the contract between the city and Commonwealth Catholic Charities. For more information about services for homeless persons provided by the Department of Social Services, you can call them at 804-646-3111.