City Planning Commission OKs Women’s Shelter Site Plan

The Jamestown Planning Commission approved Chautauqua Opportunity’s site plan for a new single women’s shelter located at 303 Lafayette St.

The site plan for the new women’s shelter was unanimously approved, following a recommendation by city officials.

The director of Chautauqua Opportunities explained that the county currently does not have a homeless shelter in place for single women. The new location will provide single women ages 18 and over with a 30-day emergency shelter.

After receiving the approval of the Jamestown Planning Commission, Chautauqua Opportunities plans on moving to the next phase of the project.

“We’re looking to put this out to bid literally in the next couple weeks,” the head architect for the project said.

The renovations at 303 Lafayette Street will bring the building up to code prior to the establishment of the women’s shelter. While the building’s brickwork and structure is in good condition, the interior of the building will require significant renovation.

When the women’s shelter is completed, there will be three floors, providing the space for 30-day apartment rooms, a common area on the first floor, a computer area, a laundry room, storage units and a janitor’s closet. An elevator will be available for the first and second floors of the building, providing inclusive access for women in need of shelter.

While the women’s shelter will be designed like an apartment complex, the program offered by Chautauqua Opportunities will limit the length of each individual’s residence.

“The people that will be staying there are transitional,” the head architect explained. “They are not permanent apartments.”

The new women’s shelter will provide single women a temporary place to stay while receiving services to help them improve their lives. Chautauqua Opportunities believes the new shelter will provide a safer alternative over other housing options.

Funding for the project was secured earlier this year through a $2.49 million grant from the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The project is expected to move forward quickly with the contract bidding process.


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