First City Homeless Services operates a year-round Day Shelter and a seasonal (October-March) Overnight Warming Center in Ketchikan. Our mission is: "To offer the homeless access to a safe, non-judgmental shelter and referrals to local resources."
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First City Homeless Services-Day Shelter (FCHS) is a local nonprofit organization serving the needs of Ketchikan’s homeless, hungry, marginally housed, and transient individuals and families.
No other agency in Ketchikan provides daytime shelter for this vulnerable population and there are not enough beds in overnight homeless shelters to fully meet the need. The evidence of the need for the Day Shelter and Overnight Warming Center is in the numbers of homeless served. From January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020, the Day Shelter served 240 individuals a total of 10,393 times and the Overnight Warming Center served 77 individuals from December 15, 2020 - May 15, 2021 (operated OWC an extra month with the acquisition of an additional location and COVID funding).
The Day Shelter is open 7 days a week Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday 8:00am - 2:00pm. The Overnight Warming Center is open seasonally, October 15 through April 15, 7 days a week from 8:00pm - 6:00am.
FCHS addresses the following specific needs: safety, hunger, shelter, health/welfare, personal hygiene, and assistance with case management needs. We have highly qualified staff to assure our participants are able to move forward in their lives receiving assistance by a volunteer to schedule appointments, maintain health and SNAP benefits, connect with a PCP or clinics for substance use or mental health disorders, etc.
Hunger affects a broader economic strata than only the homeless. Many of the families and individuals who come to the Day Shelter are seeking food, but not shelter. We provide a daily nutritious breakfast and light snacks throughout the day. We also provide grab-and-go lunches on Saturday (the only day that a free meal is not offered by any other organization in town). During the winter months, we provide an evening home-cooked meal before our participants settle in for the night.
All funds received go to the running of the Day Shelter and the Overnight Warming Center. Donations of clothing, food, money, and volunteer hours keep the doors of the Day Shelter and the OWC open.