RLC Proposed Modifications to Its Condition Use Permit to Operate the Warming Shelter
On April 1, 2022, RLC requested an extension of the CUP, set to expire on May 1, 2022. On April 29, 2022, the Planning Commission extended the CUP to June 1, 2024. On August 26, 2022 RLC and the CBJ renewed the CWES contract for the 2022-23 winter season.
RLC has filed an additional amendment with the CBJ Planning Commission requesting three additional modifications relating to operational dates and times.
CBJ Planning Commission Hearing
RLC proposed modifications to its CUP is scheduled to be heard on September 27, 2022 at 7 pm in the City Hall Assembly Chambers and by telephonic and electronic means as explained on the CBJ Planning Commission webpage.
Send comments to CBJ Planning Commission (by September 5 for inclusion in Staff report).
Allowable / Conditional Use Permit Application Amendment
Download RLC CWES Conditional Use Permit Application with attachemnts (76 pages)
Download RLC CWES Conditional Use Permit Application without attachments
Allowable / Conditional Use Permit Application Amendment Narrative
Resurrection Lutheran Church (RLC) proposes an amendment of Conditional Use Permit NOD USE2021 0011 granted November 15, 2021 by the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Planning Commission (PC) (“CUP” – attached) incorporating a November 2, 2021 memorandum from Allison Eddins, Community Development, to the CBJ Planning Commission regarding USE2021 0011 (“CD CUP Memorandum” – attached), allocating space within its facility located at 740 W 10th Street to operate the Cold Weather Emergency Shelter (CWES) for the CBJ under CBJ PO # 114413 (“PO” – attached) for CBJ Contract MR 220-198 (“Contract” – attached), as amended by of Conditional Use Permit NOD USE2022 0005 granted April 29, 2021 by the CBJ PC (“CUP Extension” – attached), incorporating a April 18, 2022 memorandum from Jennifer Shields, Community Development Planner, to the CBJ Planning Commission regarding USE2022 0005 (“CD CUP Extension Memorandum” – attached).
RLC has been in Juneau since 1926. It has a long and proud history of serving those in need in Juneau and Southeast Alaska, including multiple generations. It is a member of Love INC, Southeast Alaska Food Bank, the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, Family Promise and regularly participates in the Juneau Coalition on Housing and Homelessness and Collaborated Efforts meetings. The Resurrection Quilters donate their handcrafted quilts to those in need locally in Juneau and worldwide. While many churches closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, RLC actually stepped up its operations. The church was one of several churches to open a Safe Space for Schooling (RLC SSS) program to support students attending Zoom classes and was recognized by Juneau School District and its superintendent. NAMI Juneau and the Suicide Prevention Collation recognized our RLC SSS Program Supervisor, Clarice Bethers, for exceptional work helping children in the community. To accommodate the RLC SSS program, the Downstairs Hall (where RLC operates the CWES) was renovated. Last Fall, when St. Vincent de Paul decided not to complete the last two years of its CWES contract with the CBJ, the congregation stepped-in, realizing there were no other alternatives for the city’s homeless individuals.
Current Use of the Facility
RLC’s community service programs address immediate needs of refreshing and nourishing the body, mind and soul. RLC worship services nourishes the soul through regular Sunday worship services (9:30 am) in-person and live broadcast (or viewed later) on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/JuneauLive), as well as special worship services. The church also broadcasts an abridged version of its prior week’s worship service on local radio station KINY on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. RLC Warming Shelter refreshes the body by operating the CWES – AKA, the RLC Warming Shelter – for the CBJ. The RLC Warming Shelter is a low barrier shelter for adults operating during the winter when the nighttime temperature is predicted to be below freezing. Juneau Live! Studio nourishes the mind by supporting individuals and families in our community who are suffering from seclusion and isolation, and its consequences. Juneau Live! Studio connects this marginalized population to Juneau though live-entertainment, educational and informational, community-access television programming on its Juneau Live! YouTube channel and KINY radio station. The RLC Food Panty nourishes the body by operating the largest food pantry in Juneau feeding 150 to 200+ individuals and families each week, by allowing patrons to select their own foods in an unique 100’ COVID-safe mobile food line (paid for with a Rasmuson grant in 2021). The church believes these community service programs embody its mission to promote spiritual growth in Christ and service to all people.
2021/22 Winter Operation of the CWES under the CUP
In what ended up being a particularly harsh winter for those without stable housing, the RLC Warming Shelter during its 2021/22 operation:
- was open 100% from November 17th through April 15th (expectation was 80%) due to near 32° and below for entire season, opening as early as 9 pm when near 0°;
- provided 3,535 shelter nights for 346 unique patrons at a cost of $46 per night, where each patron stayed an average of 10 nights and 63% of patrons stayed five or fewer nights;
- hosted 30 to 40 patrons each night (originally planned for 28), providing a hot, freshly prepared, nutritious dinner and breakfast; and
- every patron welcomed to return next night (regardless of prior behavior), while treating each patron in accordance with RLC guest service guidelines (based on Disney Institute).
The CUP Extension
On April 1, 2022, RLC requested an extension of the CUP, set to expire on May 1, 2022. On April 29, 2022, the Planning Commission issue NOD USE2022 005 which amended Condition 9 to read:
- Condition 9: The permit will expire on June 1, 2024.
Request for Additional Amendments to the CUP / CUP Extension
The CBJ has requested, and RLC has agreed to operate the CWES for the 2022/23 Winter. The parties are in the process of renewing their agreement. RLC will continue to operate the CWES according to these guidelines:
RLC CWES Operational Guidelines
RLC operates the CWES:
- on behalf of the CBJ;
- in the best interest of:
- CWES patrons;
- RLC neighbors; and
- Juneau community, and
- such that the CWES:
- complies with the CUP (and amendments);
- meets the requirements of the CBJ contract
- operating costs do not exceed the fixed-fee paid under the CBJ contract;
- complies with RLC Warming Shelter:
- Patron Code of Conduct;
- Guest Service Guidelines; and
- Staff operational training, guidelines and policies.
In order to better meet these RLC CWES Operational Guidelines, RLC is requesting two additional amendments. First, that Condition 5 be amended:
- The shelter facility’s operating start time will not be before 9:00 P.M. 8:00 P.M. and will end by 6:30 A.M. 7:30 A.M. the next day.
- The shelter facility’s operating start time will not be before 8:00 P.M. and will end by 7:30 A.M. the next day.
Perhaps contrary to a perception of some RLC neighbors and others, RLC does not desire open the CWES as early in the evening as possible or keep it open as late in morning as possible. Each of these situations creates operational and budgetary challenges for RLC. It is actually in RLC’s interest, from a staffing, overtime (budget), patron-management, facility-cleaning, food service, etc. perspective, to open at 10:30 P.M. and close the doors as early as possible.
However, when the temperatures were below zero degrees by 8:00 P.M. last January there was no other place for the CWES Patrons go. They inappropriately found places to congregate (at RLC, in the RLC neighborhood, etc.) while waiting for the CWES to open, creating challenges for patrons, staff, and RLC neighbors. Thus, while not regularly in RLC’s interest to open as early as 8:00 P.M., RLC is requesting the operational latitude to do so on those days it determines it is in the best interest of the patrons and the RLC neighbors.
As to the CWES closing time of 6:30 A.M. last season, even the PC inquired of the RLC representatives at the last hearing if this time was too early. The PC offered to change this condition but was told by CBJ counsel that such a change was beyond scope of Applicant’s amendment application and public notice. The 6:30 A.M. closing time was originally proposed by Commissioner Dye, RLC believes, to protect Harborview Elementary School students (who actually don’t start arriving at school until about 8:00 A.M.). However, it inadvertently might have had the opposite effect. Patrons forced out at 6:30 A.M. with nowhere to go, often loiter around the area sometimes falling back asleep. Here are some of the issues with the 6:30 A.M. closing time:
- CBJ buses don’t start running until after 7:00 A.M.;
- CWES Patrons need time to get to the bus stop (which might be at the Federal Building) and are often slowed down by carrying all their belongs;
- Glory Hall sends its shuttle bus to bring CWES patrons to the Glory Hall and Teal Street for services, but the shuttle driver cannot leave the Glory Hall until 7:00 A.M.; and
- CWES accepts patrons until 2:00 A.M., in any condition, and getting them up, through the bathrooms and fed (perhaps their only meal for the day) by 6:30 A.M. can be frustrating for patrons and staff.
In actuality, neither the CWES patrons nor Harborview Elementary School students have any interest in interacting, nor do the CWES patrons have any interest in loitering around RLC (there is literally nothing for them to do in the area). It is certainly RLC’s desire to manage the CWES closing time to maximize the opportunities for the CWES patrons to get where they want to be. It is counter-productive to push them out at a time where there is nowhere for them to go other than into the RLC neighborhood. It is explicitly the CWES staffs’ responsibility (to the extent they can monitor it) to see that the patrons not only leave the CWES at closing time but minimize the impact on the RLC neighborhood. Having a closing time where the staff knows those patrons are heading onto a bus or shuttle is in everyone’s best interest. Thus, RLC is asking for the latitude to set the closing time up to 7:30 A.M.
Second, that Condition 6 be amended:
- The shelter facility can operate from November 1 October 15 to May 1.
- The shelter facility can operate from October 15 to May 1.
RLC learned that it is messy and unhealthy the CWES season to close and dump its 40 patrons onto the street with nowhere to go. When closing this last April 15, the CWES staff learned from the patrons that most of them were moving to the CBJ campground and volunteered their own time and vehicles to help patrons make a smooth transition. Unfortunately, the few that had not made plans for a proper home upon the CWES closing created problems for RLC’s neighbors and RLC (we learned and will try not to repeat that next year).
Last year, temperatures were already below freezing by mid-October. This earlier possible open date of October 15 will allow RLC to potentially coordinate with CBJ on the closing of the campground (possibly mid-October). This may advert campground residents from moving into downtown or the RLC neighborhood prior to the opening of the CWES. RLC would only open the CWES earlier than the traditional date of November 15 if was in the best interest of the patrons (due to temperatures below freezing and campground closure), RLC neighbors and the Juneau community.
Impact on Parking
RLC has three parking places and one ADA parking place at the church building, and a separate lot at the corner of 10th and D Streets (approximately 15 parking places). Occasional visits by Juneau Police Department (JPD) and Capital City Fire and Rescue (CCFR) vehicles have been accommodated at the existing church lot. As patrons rarely have vehicles, existing parking has been sufficient for CWES staff and other operations, and there has been no adverse impact on street parking.
Impact on Traffic
There has not been any impact on traffic from CWES operations.