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Sat, Aug. 24

P&Z approves Cottonwood shelter to house homeless on cold nights

Raena Avalon, executive director of the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition, said the shelter location on Main Street is well-known to the region’s homeless population. “Everyone knows this location,” she said. “The word’s out that we are here.” VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Raena Avalon, executive director of the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition, said the shelter location on Main Street is well-known to the region’s homeless population. “Everyone knows this location,” she said. “The word’s out that we are here.” VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD -- Those without a warm bed on cold nights soon will have better access to an overnight shelter.

Cottonwood’s Planning & Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit Monday for the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition to operate an overnight shelter at its drop-in center on Main Street.

The permit expands the drop-in shelter’s hours, which is normally open from 1-5 p.m.

The shelter will operate when temperatures are forecasted to drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, said Raena Avalon, executive director of the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition.

In January, Cottonwood City Council approved a similar concept, Y.E.S., the Arc on Willard Street in Cottonwood but the location was problematic, Avalon said at the meeting. She said that although Y.E.S. the Arc could accommodate 25 people, “zero people” used the facility.

Avalon said this location on Main Street will have better access.

“Everyone knows this location,” she said. “The word’s out that we are here.”

The overnight shelter will be on 14 S. Main Street and open on nights forecasted to drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

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