On Monday, Dec. 28, Bethel’s homeless shelter opened its new building, which formerly housed the town’s senior center, to guests for the first time. Jon Cochrane, with Bethel Winter House, said that it’s exciting to finally have a homeless shelter that will be open all year round, not just in the winter.
“We’ve never been open for longer than five or six months before, so being open 12 months is going to be an interesting challenge funding-wise in this current environment,” said Cochrane. “There will be some times when we’ll have to transition out of the new shelter and back to the Covenant Church during the construction phase, but our goal is to keep the facility open permanently and begin to expand services.”
The new Winter House facility is much larger, and can house 40 people with enough space between those sleeping to maintain social distancing during the pandemic.