City of Lawrence seeking volunteer organizations for Winter Emergency Shelter

Porter ArneillCity, Homelessness, Planning & Development

The City of Lawrence is seeking volunteer organizations to take part in supporting the Winter Emergency Shelter for the upcoming season. The City is once again providing the facility and some staff support for the shelter, but they will need active volunteers from the community to keep it operating on a nightly basis.

The Winter Emergency Shelter requires volunteer support to keep the facility safe and functional for those who need it. Volunteer shifts will be from 7-11 p.m., 11 p.m. – 5 a.m., and 5 – 8 a.m. Ideally, the City is seeking community organizations and groups (faith-based organizations, advocate groups, service organizations, non-profits, school-based organizations, and others) to volunteer for repeating shifts throughout the season; for example, a group that could sign on to have volunteers at the shelter every Tuesday throughout its operation.

The Winter Emergency Shelter is scheduled to be open from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day from December 1, 2022, through March 12, 2023. The shelter provides a safe, secure and warm environment when the weather is life threatening to people who would otherwise have to spend the night on the streets. It will once again be located at the Community Building, 115 E 11th St. The shelter has a capacity of 75 people per night.

If you are a community group that is interested in participating or would like to learn more about volunteer expectations, please email the homeless programs team at For planning purposes and to make the Winter Emergency Shelter successful this year, the City is hoping to have all volunteer organizations accounted for by the end of October.

The Winter Emergency Shelter provides an important resource to those experiencing homelessness in our community. The shelter’s success is contingent on support from Lawrence community members.

Contact: Mitch Young, Houseless Liaison | Cicely Thornton, Homeless Programs Project Specialist |