FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — With homeless shelters faced with capacity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Fall River has opened its first permanent overflow shelter.
Solomon’s Porch Church is now home to the Timao Center, a 30-bed facility for people experiencing homelessness.
“This is what Fall River is about. Not all that other stuff you hear about,” Mayor Paul Coogan said Thursday. “We work together, we see a problem, we fix it.”
The facility has 20 beds for men staying overnight, while the remaining 10 are located in a separate room for women.
Rosa Medeiros, the director of programming for homeless services at Steppingstone, Inc., said the overflow shelter will significantly improve how the city is able to provide for those in need.
“I can’t even express the excitement,” Medeiros said. “We now have a lot of tools we didn’t have in the past, so we’re going to be able to have a great impact on the homeless population in this community.”
The Timao Center is equipped with a full-service kitchen, a laundry room with a commercial washer and dryer, and even handicap-accessible bathrooms.
Coogan said he’s proud of what the community built through dedication and teamwork.
“This is going to be a big feather in the cap for Fall River,” he added. “I know this winter is going to be a lot better for some of our in-need people because this is here.”
Staff at the shelter hope this permanent location will provide stability in the day-to-day lives of those in need, something they say was lacking with temporary shelters.
None of the beds were needed last night during the shelter’s first night open.