MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - An emergency shelter opened Tuesday night near uptown Charlotte ahead of expected snow showers.
The shelter opened at 5:30 p.m. at the Grade Cole Center, located on the Central Piedmont Community College Campus at 310 N. Kings Dr. The shelter will remain open through noon Thursday.
"The shelter is open to everyone, including couples and families," county officials say. The shelter will serve as a place for the homeless to seek refuge during the anticipated snowfall in the Charlotte area.
Inside of the building, volunteers from the American Red Cross have set up cots for dozens of people to sleep on. There is also food being provided and a place where showers can be taken.
"Unfortunately the homeless don't have anywhere to go when it's cold. It's going to be snowing tomorrow so we want them to be safe and have a warm place to go," explained Red Cross volunteer Michelle Kaumman.
Mecklenburg County officials said that some of the other shelters in the Charlotte area are waiving some of their entry restrictions because of the winter weather.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) provides direct bus routes (9 and 17) from the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 E Trade St., to the Grady Cole Center. CATS' City LYNX Gold Line is a free streetcar service that stops near the center, county officials remind the public.
The Urban Ministry Center Outreach Team plans to encourage homeless people to visit a shelter or provide sleeping bags and blankets if they refuse to go to a shelter.
Partner shelters are located at the following addresses:
- Salvation Army Center of Hope – 534 Spratt Street, Charlotte
- Men’s Shelter of Charlotte – 1210 North Tryon Street, Charlotte
- Urban Ministry Center (Room in the Inn) – 945 North College Street, Charlotte
"Most restrictions for admission to the shelters have been waived during the severe cold weather period," county officials say.