More than 50 people slept Friday night in the lobby of the Ramsey County law enforcement center, which was opened up for vulnerable adults to evade subzero temperatures.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher had opened up the lobby after the Union Depot, which acted as an emergency shelter during last month’s polar vortex, was closed again Friday.
While the lobby will be closed to the homeless Saturday night, it could reopen if temperatures drop to dangerous levels again, said sheriff’s spokesman Roy Magnuson.
“That’s the commitment of the sheriff and the commitment of the county,” he said. “We’ll respond if it’s life-threatening.”
A total of 57 people slept on the floor of the lobby, Magnuson said. They were given bedding from the detention center and food from the kitchen.
“It was warm, it was respectful, there were restrooms and it was uninterrupted sleep,” he said. “Possessions and other things were all safe.”
People cleared out between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday, Magnuson said.
More than 100 people were staying overnight at the Union Depot during the polar vortex, Magnuson said. On Friday, deputies also took people from there to nearby shelters that had increased their occupancy limits.
Union Depot will again close at midnight Saturday, he said.