CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Temperatures are dropping in the Lowcountry and the City of Charleston wants to make sure the community is warm and safe this winter.
City leaders opened a warming shelter on Monday night in the Arthur J. Christopher Community Center on Fishburne Street. The shelter gives up to 80 people a bed, blankets, toiletries and meals on cold winter nights.
“We want to make sure every citizen has a warm place to sleep,” says Christopher Jardin, Homelessness Coordinator for the City of Charleston.
Jardin says this is the first time the city has facilitated warming shelters. In years past, the faith community has operated the shelters out of their churches, however, because of the Pandemic they cannot.
That said, members of the faith community are planning to volunteer with the city to help things run smoothly. Jardin says he’s glad to have so many community members “step up” and coordinate this effort.
“No man is left behind,” says volunteer Nicolai Collins, “We care. It’s not just for them to fend for themselves; it’s for us to come together as a community.”
For the safety of the volunteers and guests, before entering, each individual will be checked for COVID symptoms and will have their temperature taken. Masks will be provided and are required to be worn at all times.
“So, everyone will be temperature check and symptom screened at the door. We do have isolation areas set up for those people to be separated from the rest of the group. Everyone will be issued a mask prior to entering the building and everyone — volunteers included — will be required to wear a mask at all times,” says Jardin.
The shelter will be open until 7:00 AM on Tuesday morning. We are expecting some colder days this week so it’s likeley that the shelter will be open again. We will be posting updates in the future.