Columbia Inclement Weather Center Needs Volunteers

Shelters are open now for cold weather

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The cold has many of us inside staying warm, but some people do not have a place to do that. The United Way of the Midlands opens their inclement weather center to the homeless on nights when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, but say they need more volunteers to help.

 "It's pretty cold," said Andy Pope, Homeless Coalition Director for the United Way of the Midlands.

When the temperatures drop, escaping the chilly weather for some of us is as simple as getting in the car and turning on the heat. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury. 

We really believe that everyone deserves a warm, safe home," Pope said. "The last thing we want to hear is that anyone is left out in the elements."

The inclement weather center has beds, hot meals, books, showers, even televisions. What they do not have are enough volunteers.

"We serve up to 190 people a night at different times," Pope said, "it couldn't be done without them and we need more volunteers."

Tom Clements, a volunteer at the center, has been volunteering for three years.

"Working here you certainly see a different side of life that most people might not see," Clements said.

"I mean, you have people who are going through different difficult circumstances, that may be the reason why they're homeless right now," Pope said, "it's important that when the temperatures get so low that people know that there's individuals in the city that care about them."

"You get so many 'thanks,'" Clements said, "they're very appreciative and you can see that you're at least helping somebody for a night."

A night that Pope says helps give people who may have fallen on hard times a soft place to land.

If you would like to volunteer, Pope says some of the jobs volunteers can expect to do are helping with the check-in and intake, assigning beds, and serving meals.
 


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