Valley Open Doors in first week of thermal season, still in need of transportation help

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 9:22 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Nov. 7 marked the opening night for Valley Open Doors low-barrier homeless shelter in Harrisonburg, and staff with the organization say it has been a successful start so far.

“Out of the 40 guest availability or bed availability we had 25 guests. So we anticipate that number to rise as we continue to be open. We were very happy with the turnout, we had great logistics and we’re very thankful to our partners that made it a successful day,” director of operations Nate Riddle said.

Last month the shelter, which operates on a rotating model between local churches, faced issues with transportation for guests, after the city of Harrisonburg could not provide transportation through HDPT due to federal regulations.

However, the city did provide over $200,000 in Community Block Development Grant funding for its pandemic response, which can be used on private transportation.

Riddle says local churches have stepped up to fill that need and Open doors is still looking for additional options.

“Dayton United Methodist and Massanutten Presbyterian are lending their vans for the entire season but we would still need one more van so if we do reach that 40 guest capacity we can make one trip and not leave people here waiting here at Rose’s for a second trip,” Riddle said.

He says Open doors is also still seeking shelter hosts for the last portion of the thermal season.

Anyone interested in helping provide transportation for Open Doors or assisting in other ways can get connected here.