The Moses Lake Open Doors Sleep Center has been open since Dec. 11, 2020. The Sleep Center is a program designed around providing shelter to those that are experiencing homelessness, offering individual shelters, access to bathroom and shower facilities, meals, and essential needs such as cold weather clothing, sleeping bags and hygiene items. The Sleep Center offers so much more than just shelter. The Sleep Center is managed by HopeSource, a Community Action Agency that operates many different programs, such as Supportive Services for Veteran Families, the Youth Homeless Demonstration Project, which assists homeless youth, as well as transitional housing programs and support services to coordinate care.
The Sleep Center has built a network of care and resource providers, including Grant Integrated Services, the state Department of Social and Health Services, Compass Career Solutions, and the Housing Authority of Grant County. Through the supportive services provided through the Sleep Center, guests are able to access resources that will lend support and wrap around services to transition out of homelessness. HopeSource staff also bring another aspect of continuing care to the table with their association with the North Central Washington Recovery Coalition, an organization that provides support to recovering addicts by hosting Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Several of the HopeSource staff are trained recovery coaches, certified through the North Central Accountable Communities of Health, which gives them the tools to help those that are experiencing homelessness and addiction issues to seek treatment and learn how to continue their road of recovery.
The community of Moses Lake has offered incredible support of this program, with almost the entirety of the goods provided to those in need being donated. Serve Moses Lake, an integral partner with the Sleep Center, had a program they oversaw that provided sack lunches to the Moses Lake Food Bank prior to the opening of the Sleep Center, and has since routed those meals to the center. Many community members have come out to provide hot meals and ongoing supply donations. Other community members have stepped up to help pay for transitional stays at hotels for guests that are transitioning into stable housing and have a small gap of time before they are able to move into their new housing arrangements. The amount of support that has been received from the Moses Lake community for this program has been incredible.
The Sleep Center, through the work of HopeSource, has seen success coming through the services and coordination of the staff. Since the opening date of the Sleep Center, 70 individuals have received shelter, with a cumulative total of over 650 nights of shelter provided. Eleven individuals who have utilized the Sleep Center have been transitioned out of homelessness in our community to date. Four guests were able to work through HopeSource to attain stable housing with the Housing Authority of Grant County, three guests were able to utilize the Sleep Center as a place to create a level of stability that allowed them to obtain gainful employment, and have since transitioned into stable housing with the support of HopeSource. Three guests have worked with the HopeSource staff to enter into in-patient rehabilitation services and will continue to work with HopeSource to obtain stable housing upon completion of their rehabilitation. Another guest came to the Sleep Center after having been released from medical care. HopeSource staff recognized that this individual was unable to care for themselves and got this guest placed back into medical care. Since that time, HopeSource was able to reconnect this guest with family members and has since been under the care of their family.
Several guests of the Sleep Center have provided video testimonials about how their experience with the Sleep Center made a positive impact on their lives. From the ability to connect individuals with the services they need, to just providing an open space to talk, the Sleep Center has the ability to truly impact the lives of those in need.
“The Sleep Center offers shelter and so much more to those that are experiencing hardships and homelessness,” said Taylor Burton, the City of Moses Lake’s Housing and Grants Coordinator. “The Sleep Center is a program designed to support those that want to change their lives and begin the road to ending homelessness. This program may be fledgling, but the potential to end homelessness in our community is great. With the continued support of the community and the amazing work of HopeSource, there is hope that change can be accomplished.”
Former Mayor Dick Deane spoke of a success story in Ellensburg, where his friend owned a hotel two blocks from Central Washington University. The hotel was sold to HopeSource and turned into the exact type of facility planned for the El Rancho Motel in Moses Lake.
“They’ve treated it perfect and treated the community great,” Deane said in part.
More information can also be found at the City’s Help for the Homeless webpage.