Temperatures drop, bed count increases, emergency shelter needs donations
The WestCare Emergency Shelter in Pike County is in need of donations.
"We usually keep around 30 beds. But it has increased to 45 due to the cold weather months," explained Natasha Newsom.
Newsom is a Case Manager at the shelter. She said these higher numbers can lead to a big problem.
"This place is run on donations. Without the community's help, it would be shut down," Newsom pointed out.
She told WYMT oftentimes they run out of things many would not think to donate.
"They need necessities that we take for granted," said Newsom.
Keep in mind coats and shoes are also two important items.
"People ask for things to keep them warm, toboggans, mittens, socks and shoes. We need coats and shoes," explained Newsom.
There is a stigma surrounding their clients. Many people believe if someone is in the shelter, this means they do not have a job or they are not trying to get one. Newsom said this is wrong."
"They do have jobs. They walk there, most of the time," Newsom said.
Those working to get back on their feet need are often in need of not only warm clothes but deodorant, fingernail clips, and hair spray.
"So when I'm telling you that they need cold weather stuff, it's because they are walking miles to work and from, even late at night," Newsom pointed out. "To somebody that's homeless, that may mean a lot."
During the cold weather, the West Care Emergency Shelter opens its doors for anyone (who passes a background check) to come in to stay warm.
From 7:00 P.M. until 7:00 A.M., if the temperature drops below 32 degrees, the shelter serves as a warming station.
If you would like to donate, you can call the emergency shelter at (606) 432-9442. You can also send their Facebook page a message to set up a drop-off time.
Some items they need include but are not limited to: