Homeless shelter will use office space before turning people away

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Many people will be indoors where it’s warm during these frigid temperatures, but there are many who don’t have any place to go.

“It’s very dangerous to be outside in this temperature,” Good Shepherd Center Senior Development Director Jane Birnbach said.

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She says volunteers have already began making preparations for the increase in people seeking shelter.

Birnbach stated, “We put already volunteers in the kitchen today making bagged lunches in preparation for tomorrow.”

Birnbach says they’ve also put a white flag outside building, welcoming those who need a place to stay.

“It’s just a way for the community to understand that even if you are someone who chooses not to come into a shelter on a regular basis that this would be a time to really reconsider that for safety purposes,” Birnbach said.

She expresses the shelter normally has 75 to 80 people a night, but she says that number may rise to 100 when it gets this cold.

Birnbach said, “We may see more use of our night shelter, but we have not had to turn folks away. We have the ability to handle 118 men, women, and families with children.”

She says they’ll take advantage of every space they can in the shelter if necessary before turning people away.

Birnbach says anyone can stay at the Good Shepherd Center Thursday and Friday.

It will return to its normal schedule Saturday depending on the weather.