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Caught in crisis: Livingston emergency shelter delays opening due to worker shortages

Livingston Warming Center
Posted at 10:34 AM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 12:34:53-04

LIVINGSTON — It's another clash between skyrocketing housing prices and the struggle to find workers—playing out in Livingston.

Livingston's emergency overnight shelter will not open as planned Tuesday, due to stagging shortages.

"We have experienced staffing shortages since COVID occurred. This year has been especially difficult for us," said Jenna Huey, emergency shelter services manager for HRDC.

The Livingston Warming Center operates from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., providing housing, laundry services, and shower services for up to 20 individuals.

"It is distressing to know there are people out there who need a place to stay, and we can’t provide it to them, especially with the change in weather we are experiencing," Huey said.

Huey said they need five full-time employees and one part-time worker to run the Livingston shelter and need to hire at least one more person to meet that threshold.

“We know our luck is running short with the mild fall temperatures we’ve enjoyed this year. It is imperative that we get our shelter open in Livingston as soon as possible," said Brian Guyer, HRDC’s director of housing.

"We simply can’t abide having preventable tragedies like severe frostbite, hypothermia, and even death occur in our community. We know that many of our neighbors would want to pitch in, including applying for a position, if they knew of the staffing challenges we are having right now,” Guyer said.

Huey feels confident they can have the shelter up and running by November 14, to learn more about the open positions, click here to visit the HRDC website.