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Emergency Shelters Prep for Frigid Temps, Extra Guests

6:34 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Winter emergency shelters in the Triad said they are expecting and prepared to accommodate extra guests Monday afternoon and evening, ahead of the single-digit temperatures predicted Monday night.

Greensboro Urban Ministry operates the six winter emergency shelters (WE Shelters) in Greensboro. In addition to the extra space at Greensboro Urban Ministry, the other temporary shelters include those at Faith Step Ministries, Grace Community Church, Mount Zion Baptist Church, West Market Street United Methodist and the YWCA.

Individuals who wish to stay at one of those shelters must first contact Greensboro Urban Ministry at 336-271-5959 to be screened and placed in an appropriate shelter.

Shelter organizers encourage the public to help raise awareness about the available shelters and to refer individuals without places to sleep to Greensboro Urban Ministry. Though the shelters do not encourage walk-ins, organizers said they will help individuals who show up find means of contacting Greensboro Urban Ministry to register. The satellite shelters also can provide transportation there, if needed.

Rev. Mike Aiken, Greensboro Urban Ministry executive director, said so far this winter, the Greensboro shelters have been operating at two-thirds capacity, and approximately 100 beds are currently open. He said the shelters are prepared to accomodate more people and expect to do so, especially as the weather gets colder. On days that are particularly cold, like Monday, some of the shelters will be holding extended hours. Lindy Garnette, the executive director of the all-women's YWCA, said the YWCA is holding extended hours Monday, starting at 3 p.m.

Garnette said extended hours create a need for more volunteers, who can help staff the winter emergency shelters and perform daily chores. To volunteer, individuals can contact Greensboro Urban Ministry or the YWCA directly at 336-273-3461.

For individuals seeking a place to sleep in Winston-Salem, First Baptist Church on Fifth (501 W 5th St.) is accepting walk-ins at its overflow shelter. Individuals can call 336-722-2558 with questions or meet at Loaves and Fishes (657 W 5th St.), down the street from First Baptist Church on Fifth, at 7 p.m. to check in for a bed at the shelter.

Allied Churches of Alamance County and the Burlington Chapter of the American Red Cross are partnering to put temporary cots in Allied Churches (206 N Fisher St. in Burlington). The shelter will be open to the public at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 6 and 7, and check out will occur at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. To contact Allied Churches of Alamance County's emergency shelter, call 336-229-0881 or the American Red Cross at 336-226-4906.

WFMY News 2

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