Bean’s Cafe is the city’s newest emergency shelter.

The building has been used as an emergency shelter in the past, but this year more people are being squeezed in.

Anchorage Health Department Director Natasha Pineda said the shelter can sleep 150 men and women and has been full at least one night since it opened last week.

Pineda said the shelter can hold up to 166 people when the temperature drops below 10 degrees. Instead of sleeping on mats on the floor, guests are sleeping on bunk beds so they can get a good night’s sleep.

“All the people that are working around homelessness understand the critical need for sleep and so we really want to make sure that people have a place to sleep and we're committed to that,” Pineda said.

Anchorage Assembly members approved over $444,000 in October to open the overnight shelter from November till the end of April. Bean’s Cafe Deputy Director Kim Koval said they hired an additional 15 monitors because the shelter is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Unlike nearby Brother Francis Shelter which stops accepting people at 11 p.m., Koval said Bean’s Cafe will take in clients for overnight stays all the way up to 6 a.m.

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