Mecklenburg County shelters implement no-turn-away policy due to cold weather

Local shelters help homeless stay warm while dealing with cold conditions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Some homeless shelters in Mecklenburg County have implemented a temporary no-turn-away policy for people seeking shelter from the chilly weather this week.

According to a press release from Mecklenburg County, the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte/Urban Ministry Center and Salvation Army Center of Hope are expanding their capacity this week to accommodate more people in the shelters.

Randall Hitt is the Chief Engagement Officer for the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte/Urban Ministry Center. He said the two shelters he oversees have a combined 410 beds. In an interview Tuesday night, Hitt said all of the beds had been filled Tuesday and more than 100 additional people were sleeping on mats in the facilities.

“We are in a situation where we just don’t want people out on the streets or anybody dying because of the cold,” said Hitt.

He said the situation is not only taxing for the people seeking shelter, but the people working in the facilities too. He said Mecklenburg County officials have been good about getting the shelters extra resources this week.

“It’s one of those situations where we just work to get people in and get them outside of the cold,” said Hitt.

He said the shelters will allow extended capacity through Thursday night. He said they will continue to monitor the weather with county officials and prepare for what lies ahead.

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