City of Harrisonburg purchases permanent homeless shelter property

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 11:29 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The City of Harrisonburg has contracted to purchase 3.72 acres of land and a 6,730-square-foot building being sold by Shenandoah Presbytery at 1111 North Main Street.

This will help the city create its permanent low-barrier shelter for adults experiencing homelessness.

The city will pay $700,000 for the property, with additional future costs anticipated for converting the property into a suitable location for the services to be provided. Closing on the purchase of the property will occur within 60 days.

“My goal is that we’re not only just providing a place for people to go to, a safe space for people to go to, but we’re also setting people up for success,” said Mayor Deanna Reed. “With this purchase, we are making a lasting investment in the health and welfare of those in our community in most need of our support and compassion. I am very proud of our council, staff and community nonprofits who came together to make this vision a reality.”

The current low-barrier shelter in Harrisonburg is being operated by the nonprofit Open Doors and is currently temporarily located on the campus of James Madison University. City Council and city staff will continue to work closely with Open Doors leadership to meet low-barrier overnight shelter needs in Harrisonburg.

Next steps include identifying a timeline for retrofitting the Presbytery building for shelter use, negotiating a lease for shelter operations, and developing options for expansion of the building.

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