The 2022-2023 Winter Emergency Shelter (WES) 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 free, safe, secure and warm environment when the weather is life threatening to people who would otherwise have to spend the night on the streets. The WES will once again be located at the Community Building, 115 W 11th St. The shelter has a capacity of 75 people per night.

To volunteer to help staff the Winter Emergency Shelter, sign up here.

For more information, please contact or call (785) 813-9483.

Housing Initiatives Division – Homeless Programs Team


Donation Opportunities

To help support those seeking overnight shelter, the Winter Emergency Shelter plans to provide daily snack bags. It is anticipated that 30-70 snack bags will be needed daily. We are accepting donations of individual, nonperishable pre-packaged foods – see list of examples, below.

Where to deliver donations – We request that donations of nonperishable snack bags be delivered daily to:

  • Community Building, 115 W 11th St., Lawrence, during regular business hours, viewable here, or between the hours of 7 and 10 p.m
  • City of Lawrence – Planning and Development Services, Housing initiatives Division – W.E.S., 1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 320, Lawrence, M-F 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Single, individually packaged items including:

  • Chex-Mix
  • Protein Bars
  • Candy
  • Peanut butter TO GO
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Dried Fruit
  • Cookies
  • Little Debbie Snacks
  • Lunch-Ables
  • Pretzels
  • Trail Mix
  • Beef Sticks
  • Smart Popcorn
  • Goldfish
  • Crackers
  • Beef Jerky
  • Uncrustables

Practical items for donation – In addition to snack bags, our patrons or participants may also need items such as:

  • Individual Kleenex packs              
  • Single Serving Immunity Strength (i.e. Emergen-C) able to mix in water         
  • Winter gloves
  • Wool hats
  • Knitted Wool Socks                                                                                   
  • Baby Wipes                       
  • Underwear                                  
  • Handwarmers                    
  • Toe Warmers                                                                                                 
  • Foot Powder
  • Bath Towels                     
  • Hats                                           
  • Hygiene Kits (liquid soap preferred, and items packaged together – a pair of socks can be used for packaging)

Thank you!