The Flooding rains and oppressive heat have paid frequent visits to the CSRA recently. Imagine sleeping outside or under a bridge through either of those. John Sebby says the changes in the weather have increased the number of visitors at the Salvation Army's Center of Hope.
"We used to run about 70 meals an evening. Now we run about 90. We've seen a 10% increase in the shelter population since this hot weather and all the rain we've been having," Sebby explains.
He says the increased numbers fill the 120 beds, forcing the Center of Hope to create alternate sleeping arrangements for those who'd otherwise be outside.
Sebby adds, "we pull out mats on the floor. We sit them in the hallway. We sit them in the open areas. We try to accommodate all we can when it gets to weather."
DaQuan Carter and others say they are grateful for in the evenings and at night. But the Center of Hope is not open to the public during the day. Something Carter hopes will change.
According to Carter, "people really do need this. It's really those guys out there who don't have a place to stay."
Sebby says the Center of Hope understands the need, but the shelter is not financially equipped to open during the day. Still, Sebby says that at 5 p.m., those in need can sign up for a bunk to get a break from the from the elements.
"We offer them a bunk, a shower, a hot meal, a hot breakfast," he explains.
Not just in times of inclement weather, but all year long.
"We're open 7 days a week, 365 days a year," Sebby adds.
He says he expects the Center of Hope to be full throughout the summer months.
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