Local Shelter Prepares for Winter Weather

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- With the temperatures dropping, one local shelter is preparing for extra people spending the night.

If there are no beds available at The Salvation Army shelter in Harrisonburg, under extreme circumstances, people can still spend the night on couches or mattresses

Carla Chestnut hopes she will not have to sleep outside this winter.

"When it is cold outside. It just completely makes you feel very scared and ashamed also and what position you come into," said Chestnut.

Last winter, she did not have a warm place to sleep in Lynchburg.

"There were some shelters there and they were completely booked and there were some women's shelters there, which were completely full," said Chestnut.

She now lives at The Salvation Army shelter in Harrisonburg.

The shelter only has four beds available for men and the women's dorms are full; however, it will still make room for more if more than 40 people show up at the Harrisonburg and Rockingham Thermal Shelter.

"Just waiting to see if we are needed. Waiting on phone calls to say you have space available can you take such and such person," said Capt. Duane Burleigh with the Salvation Army.

Burleigh wants to warm up those without a home especially during bitter cold nights.

"It is a health problem is what it is. If you are out exposed for long periods of time, it can lead to frostbite. It can lead to death. So it is important that there is shelter, there is warming areas for them to go to," said Burleigh.

The warmth is something Carla is grateful for.

"To come into a warm place, with a place to shower and a place to lay your head is very appreciated," said Chestnut.

If it is necessary, The Salvation Army will also open a temporary shelter at their church.

If you or someone you know needs a place to stay for a night, contact the Harrisonburg and Rockingham Thermal Shelter at 540-578-3869.


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