Emergency shelter activates in Snohomish County as temperatures dip

EDMONDS, Wash. -- With temperatures expected to drop below freezing overnight, emergency shelters have now been activated.

The Edmonds Senior Center that opened as an emergency shelter at around 6:30 Sunday. At least a dozen people check in for the night, many of them grateful they’ll have a warm place to stay.

For the first time this season, the south Snohomish County Emergency Shelter Network has opened its doors.

“This is an emergency cold weather shelter, and so we’re only open when the temperature falls to freezing for an extended period overnight so we monitor the weather conditions and then activate the shelter,” said Sue Waldin, the emergency shelter coordinator.

That means people like Michele Dana are safe indoors as temperatures hit freezing.

“It’s cold; you can’t sleep when it gets that cold; there’s nothing you can do, it’s just too cold,” said Dana.

Currently living in her truck, Dana says shelter is critical.

From sleet in Mill Creek to snow in Woodinville this afternoon, old man winter has hinted what’s to come, but volunteers say they’re ready to help.

“I would say that a warm place to stay is more critical than food,” said Waldin. “We have 150-200 volunteers in the community, six different faith-based organizations.”

For Dana, who’s trying to turn her life around, it means she has some support to do it.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done, but I’m glad I don’t have to think about it because it makes me feel my goals are going to be achieved because I’m here.”

While the shelter is meeting at the Edmonds Senior Center Sunday night, there are other locations. Once the shelter has been activated, they ask people to meet at Lynnwood City Hall by 7 pm to be shuttled to the designated shelter for the night.