by Jordan Green

Greensboro churches respond to demand for shelter with onset of cold weather

Greensboro’s Winter Emergency program begins on Wednesday and runs through March 31. Launched in 2008 to meet a demand for overnight beds that the city’s homeless shelters were unable to accommodate, the program depends on a volunteer network of churches to provide staffing and sites. Grace Community Church, West Market Street United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, FaithStep Ministries, First Baptist Church and Pleasant Garden Baptist Church are signed on as field shelters. The Winter Emergency program adds 110 beds.

When the temperature dips below 40 degrees, Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Weaver

House night shelter for single adults opens its overflow shelter. The Rev. Mike Aiken, the agency’s executive director, said all 100 of its shelter beds for single adults were taken on Sunday night, and 39 people slept on the floor. During the past two winters, Weaver House has operated at capacity, and oftentimes there have been more than 50 families on the waiting list for the agency’s Pathways Center.

Aiken said people who find themselves homeless and in need of shelter may register by showing up at Weaver House, located at 305 W. Lee St., or by calling 336.271.5959 ext. 347. They may also register at Hot Dish and Hope, a free meal offered Tuesday through Thursday at 6 p.m. First Presbyterian Church provides the meal on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Grace Community Church covers Wednesdays.