‘Blue flags save lives’: Serenity House to be open 24 hours in extreme weather

PORT ANGELES — Serenity House of Clallam County has announced that it will open its shelter for 24 hours during cold temperatures or extreme weather.

Blue flag days mark the third day of freezing temperatures during day time or a period of extreme weather conditions. When conditions are met, Serenity House and participating agencies and businesses will display a blue flag letting people know that the shelter will be open 24 hours until the end of the extreme weather.

“Blue flags save lives,” Serenity House Director Doc Robinson said. “There are days when our county is too cold, too wet and on those days we override budget issues and staff finds a way.”

Robinson said that if anyone sees the flags out, they should reach out to people they see on the streets and let them know that Serenity House is open.

Serenity House also will offer extra van rides to the shelter on West 18th Street. The vans have been picking people up at the intersection of Second and Peabody streets.

Volunteers are always needed when extending shelter hours, especially weekend days and early morning hours. Volunteers can help handle the phones, donation drop-offs, shelter check-ins and monitoring the shelter.

An increase in hours also means an increase in meals being served. Serenity House currently serves about 60 meals each night and another 60 in the morning. Help in the kitchen would allow staff to step out of the kitchen to monitor shelter services.

Serenity House also is asking for donations of towels, hygiene items, hand warmers and cold weather clothing. Uncooked food for large meals also is helpful.

For more information about volunteering, call 360-452-7221 or email [email protected].

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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