Closed Shelters Leave Some Out in the Cold

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV)-- It is nearing the end of October, which means colder weather will soon be upon us and some will be without shelter.

With more freezing nights ahead, Melissa Staley is grateful for the shelter for her and her four kids, "I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have this place."

Valley Mission director Susan Richardson said she tries to make the transition as easy as possible, no matter the season, "It's hard on the kids, anytime you're moving, anytime you're in a situation of need, like being homeless, I mean that's tough."

Richardson said having a warm bed is not always enough, "There's physical needs and emotional needs, and when physical needs are higher, emotional needs aren't met. I mean when you're in a freezing situation, you've got to think food, shelter, warmth and the other stuff comes later."

Those physical needs are first on Staley's mind this year, "A lot of jackets, and I got to make sure I stock up on the cough medicines and the airborne stuff."

There are warm shelters that open at the beginning of November, like Open Doors in Harrisonburg, and the Waynesboro Mennonite Church. But until then, with these chilly temperatures, Valley Mission may be the only place for some to go. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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