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 July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018, the Day Shelter served 255 individuals a total of 9,825 times and the Overnight Warming Center served 100 individuals from October 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018.
Our goal of keeping homeless people safe and alive is being met: the Day Shelter is open 7 days a week Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. and Sunday 8:00am - 2:00pm. The Overnight Warming Center is open seasonally, October 1 through March 31, 7 days a week from 8:00pm - 6:00am.
First City Homeless Services addresses the following specific needs: safety, hunger, shelter, health/welfare, personal hygiene, a sense of personal dignity, and assistance with obtaining employment. We have recently expanded our self-help support by offering adult educational services (tutoring) in reading and math, as well as basic health education, in conjunction with the Day Shelter.
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).
We encourage individuals or families to spend the day at the shelter instead of on the streets, in parks or other inhospitable places. Both programs allow inebriates as long as they observe behavior limits. Safety and cleanliness are two behaviors required of our consumers to meet these standards. No alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed on the premises.
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.