WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF)– The Winter Freeze Shelter closed for the season.
Because the Ohio Valley still has some cold weather ahead, Wheeling’s homeless liaison and other advocates held a giveaway to equip the homeless to deal with conditions out in the elements.
They gathered at the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center.
They went through the line where volunteers were stationed, filling their requests in assembly line fashion.
They said they do this every year on the day the winter freeze shelter closes.
“We provide them with one tent, two tarps, one sleeping bag and miscellaneous other items—socks, water bottles, hand warmers, to set them up in their new camps,” said Lynn Kettler of Street MOMs. “We also do a camp clean-up prior to this day. We did a 25-ton clean-up four weeks ago, just getting the camps ready for the folks to move into this year.”
“My hope is that we’ll be successful in being able to purchase a building such that we can operate a shelter year-round,” said John Moses, shelter director. “It just pains me to know that a number of these people have to go back to the streets, have to go back to the camps.”
He said several homeless individuals have applied for—and gotten—apartments through the Wheeling Housing Authority, and several others are in the process of doing so.
People are welcome to drop off donations of tents, blankets, flashlights, lanterns and outdoor gear at the Wheeling Housing Authority office in Elm Grove, to be passed along to those still living outside.
The Winter Freeze Shelter is open each year from Dec. 15 to March 15.
They just completed their 13th year.