Centennial Hall, left and the Juneau Arts Culture Center, center, seen in this August 2019 photo are providing shelter for homeless people in Juneau in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent spell of cold weather. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Centennial Hall, left and the Juneau Arts Culture Center, center, seen in this August 2019 photo are providing shelter for homeless people in Juneau in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent spell of cold weather. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

JACC opens for cold weather, overnight sheltering

People will be able to shelter in Centennial Hall during the day.

The Juneau Arts & Culture Center will be open full-time as a cold weather and overnight shelter amid a streak of cold weather.

“It’s open 24 hours, but it will be closed between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. for cleaning,” said City and Borough of Juneau emergency operation center spokesperson Beth Weigel in a phone interview.

The cold weather shelter recently moved to the JACC from St. Vincent De Paul Society’s facility near the Juneau International Airport over concerns about the tight quarters of SVDP’s shelter. The JACC allows for more social distancing protocols.

“They are also finally making Centennial Hall available for 4 hours every single day, while the JACC gets a deep clean,” said Glory Hall Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk in an email. “They are also going to contract with someone to professionally/safely prep food, or at least so I hope. And next week, they will get showers and laundry going.”

Weigel confirmed that those elements are in the planning stages, but didn’t have concrete dates yet. The JACC hosted 49 people Sunday night, Weigel said.

A release from CBJ confirmed that these hours will remain in place for as long as the cold weather lasts. The next several days are expected to have highs in the low 30s and lows in the teens and low 20s, according to the National Weather Service.

CBJ also said that social distancing will be required in both locations.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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