Updated: Mar 11, 2020
The Walla Walla Sleep Center has moved just a few short blocks from the old homestead, to 1181 W. Rees Avenue on the corner of 15th and Rees.
The move was accomplished by a hard-working cadre of volunteers, extensive efforts by City of Walla Walla and special equipment and crew from Hayden Homes. The Hayden Homes donation moved and placed 31 Conestogas onto the new site. The entire move happened in a two day span - one day of setting the base foundations and another of moving and placing the huts. That, was a dedicated, coordinated effort!!!
Currently, Alliance volunteers are remodeling two 1,800 square foot portable units. The cost of the renovations are being paid for by the Alliance for the Homeless.
The first building – the Meeting Building - is currently under construction. This space will provide a warm area in winter and cooled space in summer. It will serve as an eating space when volunteers bring in dinners, and it allows a space for weekly Life-Skills Meetings. It will also provide space for the Exit Homelessness program which connects clients with the resources they need, presenting them with the next step to a better situation in life.
The second building - the Service Building - will provide a space for services for the camp. There will be restrooms and showers, bedding laundry and storage, plus provide a bedroom space for two caretakers who will do the center’s laundry and custodial duties in exchanged for these accommodations.
The capacity of the Sleep Center will not change even though the site is much larger. The camp has been running nearly full with 45 people per night. Managing more than that number of people would require extra volunteers and a second night-security person.
During 2019, the Alliance will add additional staffing to the Exit Homelessness program. This program, in its one-year infancy, has proven to help move people along to employment, housing and better connection with benefits and service providers. For some, just getting an ID and birth certificate was a big first step.
The City of Walla Walla has made this new location possible because of the Sleeping Center’s success in sheltering a large percentage of the area’s unsheltered population. Once folks have a safe place to sleep at night and a program that helps with their future, addressing other issues become possible.
For a "tourist town" that prides itself on being a friendly place to live and visit, reducing the number of folks living on the street is a huge success.
Although our volunteers donate many, many hours per month to this effort, we still must purchase building supplies. Would you like to make a donation to this Sleep Center remodeling effort? You can click right here to do so - and know that your contribution will be recognized, and truly appreciated by many! Thank you for considering.