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Newly opened Grace Inn homeless shelter is nearing full capacity

Grace Inn places its beds in small enclosures to offer some privacy to the guests. Photo by Alan-Michael Steele, QNet News

By Alan-Michael Steele [1]

BELLEVILLE –  The new Grace Inn homeless shelter on Church Street is almost at full capacity, with almost all of the 21 beds being used nightly to shelter Belleville’s homeless.

“We started with an average of 11 individuals on our first week,” said Rob Crisp, the shelter’s executive director. Five beds are set aside for female guests, and the remaining 16 for men. The shelter averages three to four women each night and 14 to 16 men, according to Crisp.

These beds are in the men’s section of the shelter, arranged in short corridors for easy access. A similar arrangement is used for the women’s beds. Photo by Alan-Michael Steele, QNet News

There are more beds for men than women due to there being a higher need, he said.

The bathrooms are fully accessible and allow guests to take a warm shower during their stay. Photo by Alan-Michael Steele, QNet News

“There are more things available to the female population for homelessness. On average, more males show up with a need at night than females. So far we haven’t peaked out at five females on any given night.”

Guests staying at the shelter have access to showers, clean beds and a space to do laundry. The beds are laid out in their own semi-private booths which, while enclosed, do not have a door. Guests are also given a locker corresponding with their bed number to safely store belongings. The facility is fully accessible, including showers and restrooms. The shelter only operates overnight, with guests needing to leave during the day.

Currently the Grace Inn only provides overnight shelter, while referring guests to other services in the city as needed. There are plans to offer breakfast in the future.

The Grace Inn opened in December 2019 after four years of work [2].