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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Hope Center and Switchin’ Gears have come together to host an emergency shelter on Chestnut Street for anyone who needs a place to sleep or eat with temperatures below freezing in the Port City.

“It should make you happy and it should break your heart at the same time,” said Randy Evans, the director of the Hope Center.

People have been crowding inside the bike shop for the last few days.

“This emergency shelter was a response to these individuals not being able to obtain shelter in other avenues in town,” said Evans.

Evans said over the past several days more than 100 people have come through the shelter.

“We’ve had an amazing out pour of love from the community, bringing food, kerosene, clothes, sleeping bags,” Evans said.

He said his goal is to create a family environment.

“This is more than just shelter, this is family,” Evans said.

He said the community needs to become more conscious of the needs of others in our community.

“There are individuals in poverty in this town. That they can, taking the goggles of charity off and knowing that these individuals aren’t invisible, they have stories, they deserve dignity, they deserve self respect.”

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