For the first time since we opened our men’s emergency shelter and women’s emergency shelter, the Lighthouse was at capacity this last weekend. With 25 women in the women’s shelter and 16 men in the men’s shelter (plus another 12 men in overflow) we saw our highest numbers ever.
When we get this full, everyone wants to ask if this is a sign that homelessness has gotten worse in the city or if it is a random spike. It’s too early to tell. We have had increases before where the numbers returned to normal but as we learned in 2008, the increase can often be permanent.
To help cope, The Lighthouse is purchasing new cots to increase our temporary capacity. If needed, we will configure shelter arrangements to add more permanent beds.