Winter Shelters for Individuals and Families Experiencing Homelessness 

Page Last reviewed: November 30, 2023 at 1:04 p.m.

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Shelters Open Tonight

This information will be updated by 4:30PM when the status of a shelter changes. 

Open Winter Shelters
Closed Winter Shelters

Winter Shelter Schedule

The calendar above will be updated from November 2023 through February 2024, as the status of shelters changes. 

Overnight Severe Winter Shelter (SWS) Information

An overnight severe winter shelter (SWS) will open on a temporary basis when forecasts indicate weather conditions will meet opening criteria.

Bellingham Location

Council Approves Agreement for Winter 2023-24 Severe Weather Shelter

Where is the Bellingham Overnight SWS located?

The Bellingham overnight SWS will operate at 810 N. State Street

Bellingham Overnight SWS Details:

  • When activated, the Bellingham overnight SWS is open from 5pm-8am. 
  • 810 N. State Street, Bellingham. 
  • Snacks, water, and coffee provided. 
  • Storage area for personal belongings. 

How will I know when the Bellingham overnight SWS is open? 

  • This webpage will be updated to reflect when the SWS is scheduled to be open. Whenever possible, we will post opening dates 48 hours in advance to give people more time to prepare. 
  • The Severe Weather Shelter hotline will have a pre-recorded message with open shelter information: 360-788-7983.
  • The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and other community organizations, and advocates will also help spread the word about shelter opening days.

What Criteria Open the Bellingham Overnight SWS?

  • The Bellingham overnight SWS will open when weather forecasts indicate that opening criteria will be met. 
  • When possible, opening decisions will be made 48 hours in advance in order to support staffing and client notifications. 
  • More information on severe weather shelter opening criteria can be found here.

Ferndale Location

Similar to last winter, Ferndale Community Services will operate a severe weather shelter this year. The Ferndale SWS will be open overnight when NOAA forecasts that Ferndale weather conditions will meet criteria. 

Additional Winter Shelters

Additional winter shelters provide additional capacity during winter months. These shelters will operate every night during the winter months from December 1, 2023 – February 28, 2024.

Road2Home Winter Shelter at Civic Field

The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County are jointly funding a seasonal winter shelter managed by local nonprofit Road2Home. This additional facility will operate: 

  • Every night from December 1, 2023 – February 29, 2024.
  • At the Civic Field locker rooms at 1355 Civic Field Way, Bellingham, WA . 
  • This facility is expected to accommodate up to 45 guests on a first-come-first-served basis. 
  • Visit the Road2Home website for more information on this program.

What is being done for individuals who prefer not to access available shelter resources?

Outreach teams, like the Homeless Outreach Team at Opportunity Council, are making rounds to spread information about shelters, encourage people experiencing homelessness to make use of those resources, and address immediate safety concerns. For individuals who are uncomfortable in shelters or choose not to use them for other reasons, life-safety is supported by various community groups that provide warm clothing, sleeping bags, and energy-rich foods. 

Year-Round Shelter in Bellingham

In addition to the winter shelters listed here, Basecamp is a year-round shelter available for adults experiencing homelessness. To volunteer and support Basecamp, visit the Lighthouse Mission Ministries website

Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors

Unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness can visit the Northwest Youth Services Whatcom Housing webpage to learn more about housing options for youth. 

How can I help? What can community members do to support sheltering efforts for unhoused neighbors?

If you are concerned about the safety of a person sleeping outdoors and want to know more about how you can help an individual or family, please contact Opportunity Council’s Homeless Outreach Team at 360-312-3717.

Temporary Paid Positions

Whatcom County Health and Community Services will operate a severe weather shelter in Bellingham when weather forecasts indicate that weather conditions will meet opening criteria. The department is currently hiring temporary on-call employees to help with this program. 


If you would like to volunteer to support one of the programs listed on this page, contact the shelter operator directly: