Homeless shelters open ahead of bitter cold weather in Carolinas - FOX Carolina 21

Homeless shelters open ahead of bitter cold weather in Carolinas

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It’s difficult for most people to imagine sleeping outside when the temperatures drop, but that’s the reality for homeless men and women across the Upstate. That’s why shelters are opening their doors beyond normal capacity.

Wednesday night 72 men slept on mattresses on the floor of the Greenville Rescue Mission’s cold weather overflow shelter.

Reid Lehman from Miracle Hill Ministries said, “Think about how much it would mean to you. Think about how your life would be different if you had no options other than to sleep outside in this nasty weather tonight.”

LIST: Cold shelters open ahead of freezing temperatures in the Carolinas

Whenever the temperature is forecast to drop below 40 degrees, the mission raises a white flag outside so homeless men in the area know they can stay the night.  The men can receive a hot meal, a shower and a safe place to sleep. There are 130 beds in the mission’s regular shelter which are occupied year-round but when the temperatures drop, mattresses are laid onto the gym floor to accommodate another 70 to 100 men.

If that area ever fills up there are local churches that will offer their facilities to those in need.

Keith Ingram stays at the shelter and will be working the cold weather overflow area. He says, “Just to see the men come in and Miracle Hill welcome them and feed them and give them soup and something warm and a blanket and a place to lay their head, it’s God’s work.  I’m grateful and I know they’re grateful.”

The doors to the cold weather overflow shelter will open at around 8 p.m.

Miracle Hill Ministries can always use new volunteers and supplies like towels, washcloths and blankets. Financial support is crucial for staffing and services. It costs about $17 per night to house a man in one of the regular beds including three hot meals, case management, showers and utilities.

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