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Bed bugs found in Owosso shelter

Flickr User Gilles San Martin

An outbreak of bed bugs is causing problems for a homeless shelter in Owosso.

For the time being, Walls of Warmth, which provides shelter for homeless people in Shiawassee County, is shut down as it looks for ways to combat a bed bug infestation.

The location of the shelter rotates between several different facilities, and organization officials said that’s making it difficult to solve the problem.

Pastor Debbie Grazier is with Walls of Warmth.

“It is a treatable thing, we are learning all the time from the state of michigan, but it has to be treated with high heat.  Because we are a rotating shelter and because our churches don't have showers and washers and dryers. There is nothing that we can do.”

Grazier said members of the Walls of Warmth executive team are currently meeting several times a week, trying to find a permanent solution to the problem.

“We are not turning our back on the homeless population. We will standing and doing everything we can to find a permanent solution”

She said the overall response has been encouraging.

“We've had nothing but a positive response, there are some people that dont understand because we are pastors and because we are churches and we say we are closing, that's a very hard thing for anything to hear. But as soon as they allow us to say why we can't do that to our congregations the cost would be insurmountable”

Grazier said in response the community has reached out. She said people are eager to help find a solution and help provide for the homeless. Currently, Walls of Warmth and the community are providing sleeping bags, and hot meals to the homeless. They hope to find a permanent solution as soon as possible.