Frigid Temps Call For Action
Last updated 12/9/2020 at 5:22pm
The Haven of Transylvania County is our county’s only homeless shelter. It is committed to keeping its doors open and serving the homeless community. In order to come into either shelter at present time, a person must make an appointment for an intake and have COVID-19 testing prior to admittance. This has been a challenging time for persons to get into shelter and the census at the shelter proves it.
This year more than ever, an emergency shelter is crucial; a shelter that opens for persons experiencing homelessness that walk up in time of need. The space previously used for this very important mission was not able be used again this year. The Haven began proposing to area churches to provide the space to conduct the Code Purple shelter. Finally, in early November, Cove Church on Nicholson Creek stepped up to the call. They began renovations to an existing trailer that was on the property. With the recent cold snap, renovations were sped up and the shelter opened on its first night on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The shelter had one guest that night.
A variety of community members chipped in. One made a nice, warm pot of soup and rice while another member went to gather last minute supplies. The bed mats were borrowed from Keystone Camp and church members and a volunteer from DSS helped move the bed mats in for that night.
The shelter time has changed from previous years in addition to the location change. Guests experiencing homelessness may sign in between the hours of 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. and may stay until the next morning. A light meal is provided and refreshments along with coffee and company. Anyone experiencing homelessness in our local area (preferably our county residents only) may come to stay and must only bring themselves. All supplies are furnished down to the sleeping bags and pillows.
Masks are required and social distancing a must. Participants understand that any congregate shelter is a risk and assume all risks associated with COVID-19 and other contagious situations. Areas are being disinfected thoroughly and regularly in order to decrease the risks.
If you need more information to get involved, seek shelter, or assist financially with this endeavor, call The Haven at (828) 877-2040. The Code Purple shelter is located at 40 Nicholson Creek Road in Brevard.
(Lowery is the Executive Director of The Haven of Transylvania County.)