Traverse City News and Events

City Approves Safe Harbor Weekend Day Center

By Beth Milligan | Aug. 17, 2022

Traverse City commissioners this week approved a request from Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse to operate a day center for individuals experiencing homelessness starting this fall – a project that would be supported by partners including Central United Methodist Church, Jubilee House, Goodwill Northern Michigan Street Outreach, and the Traverse City Police Department.

The goal is to provide a safe place for guests to access laundry, shower, phone-charging, and other services during the day – instead of only having access to overnight shelter – and to reduce security incidents that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood, including at the Traverse Area District Library. City commissioners Monday approved a request from Safe Harbor to amend its special land use permit (SLUP) for its facility at 517 Wellington Street to allow for limited daytime hours. Safe Harbor currently operates as an emergency overnight winter shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness from November 1 to April 30 between 6pm and 8am daily. The proposal will keep Safe Harbor open on Saturdays and Sundays during its winter season from 8am to 6pm, essentially offering 24/7 service on weekends. Central United Methodist Church and Jubilee House would help cover the remainder of the week for day center hours, operating Monday-Friday 8:30am-10:30am at the church and Monday-Friday 10am-5:30pm at Jubilee House.

Commissioners approved operating the day center on Wellington Street as a pilot program for two years, with Safe Harbor approved to operate on weekends during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. Safe Harbor is approved to operate between October 15 and May 15, dates that accommodate earlier starts or later finishes to the season in the event of extreme weather.

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