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Fairbanks youth shelter hopes to open by February

Posted: January 2, 2014 - 12:13am

FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks’ soon-to-be newest youth shelter, The Door, hasn’t quite opened its own doors yet, but the building took one significant step in the right direction Sunday.

Volunteers from Community Covenant Church showed up at the storage unit of Fairbanks Youth Advocates, the organization that runs the shelter, Sunday morning. The volunteers brought their own box van, loading all of the small two-story shelter’s furniture and transporting it to the new building.

The building had been sitting empty since its completion two weeks earlier. Fairbanks Youth Advocates began construction on the new shelter in August, originally hoping it might be completed by winter.

Fairbanks Youth Advocates Director Marylee Bates said the organization hopes to have the shelter fully operational by sometime in February. Before it can open the staff must finish preparing the inside of the shelter and complete a lengthy state application.

“Most of our employees are working nights at the shelter, so it’s kind of a slow going process because we can’t work days and nights,” Bates said.

Fairbanks Youth Advocates has been operating a temporary overnight shelter at First Presbyterian Church on Seventh Avenue in downtown Fairbanks since last December. The organization will operate that shelter from 9 p.m. through 8 a.m. each night until the official opening of The Door.

Bates said Fairbanks Youth Advocates has served nearly 170 different teenagers at the temporary shelter in 2013.

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