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Open Doors in Harrisonburg is now closed for the season

The shelter will open again in the fall.
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Open Doors is a thermal shelter in Harrisonburg that provides shelter to those facing homelessness during the winter months.

Sunday night was the last evening guests slept in the former Red Front Supermarket location, as Open Doors is now closed for the season.

Open Doors was open for a total of 31 weeks this season which is about 10 weeks longer than normal.

Typically, the shelter rotates between local faith communities but the pandemic brought uncertainty.

“We wanted to ensure heading into the season this year that we would be able to operate no matter what,” Executive Director Joel Ballew said.

“One of the biggest changes for us has meant locating a facility like we have been at here at the former Red Front Supermarket that would ensure that we would be able to operate no matter what through the entirety of the winter shelter season,” Ballew said.

Now that the season is over, Ballew said some guests have been able to find temporary housing arrangements.

“Some of them, unfortunately, it will mean that they are trying to figure out where to go and what that means and that is the piece that we keep in mind every day, to be honest,” Ballew said.

The shelter plans to open again in the fall, but Ballew said they are working to grow and meet the needs of the community while maintaining the shelter.

“In many ways, we would say that housing is one of the most basic fundamental human needs,” Ballew said.

He adds they would like to thank the community for all of their support.

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