by Trish Rudder
The Morgan County Homeless Coalition will offer cold weather shelter in the area beginning on Saturday, November 30 this year at Berkeley Baptist Church, said Bill Grow, the homeless coalition spokesperson. Shelters will be open nightly on a rotating basis through the end of February on Saturday morning, February 29.
This is the third season the shelters will be available.
As in the past, the same shelters will rotate on a weekly basis, beginning with Berkeley Baptist Church, Hancock United Methodist Church, Trinity-Asbury United Methodist Church, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Hancock.
The shelters open at 6 p.m. and will close the following morning at 7 a.m. An evening and morning meal is provided.
On days the shelter site is closed due to holidays (December 24, 25, 31 and January 1), inclement weather or lack of host volunteers, Berkeley Springs Motel has again agreed to work with the coalition to house people, Grow said.
In addition, The Refuge Church will again work with the Morgan County Homeless Coalition (MCHC) to provide a warm site for a period of time during the morning on a daily basis and again in the afternoon on Wednesdays when the library is closed.
The MCHC was able to help 45 people, which included nine families with 16 children, last year. While the shelter sites are not appropriate for families with children, “we automatically put them up at the motel and put them in contact with additional resources,” Grow said.
The MCHC is an all-volunteer, 501(c) 3, non-profit organization.
“Our greatest asset and need is for volunteers for both evening meal preparation and especially overnight male and female hosts. Without overnight hosts, we must close our doors and pay for the guests to stay at Berkeley Springs Motel,” Grow said.
For more information or to volunteer, email MorganCountyHC@gmail.com or visit the website MorganCountyHC.weebly.com.