Warming stations, shelters opening doors for homeless

Warming stations, shelters opening doors for homeless

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Hundreds of homeless people in the valley area can avoid sleeping out in the cold Monday, Nov. 17, as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing.

Shelters and warming stations in Columbus are collaborating to make sure the homeless have a warm place to sleep Monday and Tuesday.

The SafeHouse located at 2101 Hamilton Road, inside Rose Hill Methodist Church early Monday afternoon where last minutes preps were underway.  

"We will take anybody who needs to get out of the cold," stated Neil Richardson, executive director of the Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry, who also helps operate SafeHouse. "We will serve breakfast and lunch like we do every day and tonight we'll add supper."

Hot meals were being delivered by anonymous donors and beef stew was already simmering in the crock pots to be served as Monday night's meal.  To ensure everyone has to place to lay their head, the Columbus chapter of the American Red Cross also dropped off dozens of cots and warm blankets to be used for the men, women and children expected to find refuge there tonight. 

Steven Gilmore, an 18-year-old from Phenix City, said he's excited about the service SafeHouse is offering. He's been sleeping on the streets for the last three weeks after leaving moving out of his family home. The ordeal started with Gilmore sleeping in a tent in the woods with a friend. But, when that fell through, he was left with no place to call home.

"Actually it makes me feel pretty good knowing I will not be out there freezing tonight. It makes me feel pretty good," Gilmore explained.

The following agencies provide emergency shelter.  Please contact to confirm availability. 

Valley Rescue Mission - Shelter for Men
2903 2nd Avenue, Columbus, GA / (706) 322-8267, ext. 213

Salvation Army - Shelter for Men
1718 2nd Avenue, Columbus, GA / (706) 327-0275

House of Mercy - Shelter for men, women and children
1532 3rd Avenue, Columbus, GA / (706) 322-6463

Trinity House - Shelter for Women 
Please call (706) 641-8485 for information and assistance.

Damascus Way - Shelter for women and children.  
1200 11th Avenue, Columbus, GA / (706) 653-2061 

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