Two options open for homeless

Published 4:38 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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The homeless in Suffolk will have two options to stay warm during this winter while keeping safe from COVID-19.

The Suffolk Winter Shelter for the Homeless is starting now, administered this year by Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Winter Shelter received a federal and local CARES Act grant to provide refuge in hotels like they did last year.

“Those interested have to go through the Housing Crisis Hotline,” said Cheryl Griffin, the Suffolk Winter Shelter manager. “It’s also for adults only, so no kids.”

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This shelter will be located at a local hotel to allow folks to be properly separated and stay healthy, as recommended by the CDC. The hotel in use remains anonymous to provide confidentiality. This shelter is for adults who are completely homeless — in other words, they would be sleeping outside if it were not for the shelter program. Families in need can find help with ForKids.

This shelter will allow folks to stay in the hotel rooms all day and plans to last through mid-March or April. Anyone who would like more information on the winter shelter can call Cheryl Griffin at 757-304-2883.

The Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk Night Stay program will also return this winter. Its limited season will run from Jan. 5 through Feb. 2. Like in past years, CAPS member churches will open their doors to individuals and families needing shelter.

“We appreciate our community churches pulling together to assist in our program and in the Winter Shelter Program coordinated by the Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center,” said Mary Sue Rawls, director of Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk.

The host church will remain confidential each week for the safety of the guests. Those needing shelter will meet at 6 p.m. on the shelter night at the Suffolk Seaboard Station, 236 N. Main St.

The Night Stay program will enforce all COVID-19 protocols, including masking and social distancing.

To participate in either shelter, call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at 757-587-4202 or 1-866-750-4431 to be referred.