By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As colder days approach, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced that two emergency shelters will open in St. Paul for people experiencing homelessness.

The two facilities – Harriet Island Pavilion and the Duluth and Case Recreation Center – will provide up to 50 beds each so that 100 people can have shelter space in an emergency overnight capacity. The need for more shelter space has become more apparent as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the housing crisis in the city.

The sites will be activated when the shelters at Catholic Charities, Union Gospel Mission, and the Ramsey County Safe Space reach their capacity.

They will be open through the end of 2020; at that point, non-emergency shelter capacity is scheduled to open at Bethesda Hospital.

“Ensuring safe spaces for our neighbors is a critical priority that only gets more urgent as temperatures drop,” said Carter.

The facilities are open to unsheltered adults, with Catholic Charities acting as the primary referral source. They will operate between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

“This expanded shelter space is an important stopgap to make sure Minnesotans experiencing homelessness are sheltered and safe this winter while we work together on long-term solutions,” said Gov. Tim Walz.

There will be trained staff managing the facilities, with security available overnight. The city is also working to create a transportation plan to move people safely between the providers and the operating locations.

As of Tuesday, there are 304 people sheltering outdoors throughout St. Paul.