GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro Urban Ministry and five supporting satellite shelters opened their winter emergency shelters Monday night, in an effort to ensure no one is left outside with nowhere to seek refuge from the cold.
Restrictions on occupancy permits have prevented the shelters from opening before now, but at 6 p.m. Monday, dozens of individuals are expected to use the beds-15 of which are simply an extension of Greensboro Urban Ministry's existing shelter space at the Weaver House. The five other satellite shelters are Faith Step Ministries, Grace Community Church, Mount Zion Baptist Church, West Market Street United Methodist and the YWCA. Each has 12 to 20 beds, which are assigned through a screening process done by Greensboro Urban Ministry. The beds are guaranteed to assigned individuals for a period of two months.
Greensboro Urban Ministry executive director Rev. Mike Aiken said Greensboro Urban Ministry uses a process of first identifying people in the community who might need beds during the winter months. Then, Urban Ministry screens them to determine whether to place them in the emergency shelter at Greensboro Urban Ministry or at one of the satellite locations.
Aiken explained the winter emergency shelters are actually part of a program with an end goal of providing permanent housing to individuals. In that program, individuals develop plans to improve their living situations. They utilize partnerships with the Interactive Resource Center, StepUp Ministry and JobLink to improve employability and sources of income. Last year, 213 individuals sought shelter in the winter emergency shelters, and 112 moved into permanent housing
Aiken said Greensboro Urban Ministry needs approximately $100,000 to continue providing winter emergency shelter services. He said the organization needs donations of blankets, sheets or bus passes. He said most importantly, the organization needs financial contributions, which it can use to purchase extra mattresses and other necessities. The public can make contributions directly on Greensboro Urban Ministry's website, or they can purchase a holiday honor card, which benefits the organization.
WFMY News 2
WFMY News 2