EVANSVILLE, Ind., November 12, 2020 — United Caring Services (UCS) and the Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County announced today that, effective immediately, the community’s White Flag emergency homeless shelter program will primarily occur at the CK Newsome Center for this cold-weather season. Now in its 10th year, the White Flag program conducted by UCS will include Evansville Rescue Mission (ERM) for the first time. UCS’s White Flag program is made possible every year by the generous support of the Pigeon Township Trustee’s Office.
“Due to the social distancing required by COVID-19, United Caring Services needed to be able to conduct our White Flag homeless shelter program at a larger facility,” said Jason Emmerson, Executive Director of United Caring Services. “It was important that we have enough room to accommodate everyone we shelter during times of peak demand. It also made sense to combine our program with that of Evansville Rescue Mission in a single, centralized location.”
Emmerson estimated that, based on past White Flag experiences at UCS and ERM, he would need room to provide overnight sleeping accommodations for as many as 70-80 people. With COVID-19-related social distancing requirements in effect, UCS no longer had sufficient space in its shelter to accommodate that amount. Emmerson expects White Flag to occur on about 60 nights this cold-weather season.
“We’re pleased to make the CK Newsome Center available for the White Flag program,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, President of the Commission on Homelessness. “It is an effective solution that ensures our unsheltered homeless population has a safe and secure place to stay warm overnight during extreme cold weather conditions. White Flag will not interfere with previously-scheduled events at CK Newsome Center.”
What is White Flag?
Evansville’s White Flag Emergency Shelter Program, managed by United Caring Services in partnership with Pigeon Township, was established in 2010. It provides overnight emergency shelter for men, women and children experiencing homelessness during extreme cold weather conditions. White Flag shelter will be available at CK Newsome Center between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. When White Flag concludes, the area used will be returned to the CK Newsome Center for normal operation. White Flag is activated when outdoor temperatures are projected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for three consecutive hours. Due to COVID-19, White Flag will occur at CK Newsome Center this cold weather season, rather than separately at United Caring Services and Evansville Rescue Mission, as before. For more information: https://unitedcaringservices.org/white-red-flag/
About United Caring Services
United Caring Services is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit homeless shelter and services agency that provides people in need access to crisis stabilization services and solutions through six life-saving programs: a day shelter (drop-in center) for men, women, and children, emergency temporary shelters for men and women, additional “white/red flag” emergency shelter during inclement weather, an innovative homeless medical respite for men and women, and 21 low income studio apartments.
About the Commission on Homelessness
The Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County was formed in 2005 to direct and facilitate the implementation of strategic actions to prevent and end homelessness locally. The Commission includes representatives of local non-profit and civic organizations, City and County government, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, the United Way of Southwestern Indiana, the Evansville Housing Authority, and homeless services and housing organizations, among others. Together, they provide leadership for local implementation of national programs and resources to address homelessness, including housing initiatives, coordinated entry and other community-wide homeless processes, homeless diversion and prevention programs. For more: www.evansvillehomeless.org/ and www.facebook.com/evvhomeless/
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