The Star of Hope shelter for men has been full each night for months. But with temperatures at or below freezing, they’re expecting to be even more crowded. Community Relations Director Marilyn Fountain says no one is turned away who needs a place to stay.
“In all of our facilities, we try and encourage people to stay indoors. We want people to be safe. We want them to be in an environment where there is a level of comfort.”
Some of the men come in and relax or read a book. Others take advantage of some of the free services the shelter provides. But Fountain says there’s a lot of people living on the street who refuse to come inside even when the temperature drops.
“Sometimes people won’t come in. But we do what we can to make it easy for people to come into our facilities.”
Star of Hope workers will hit the streets and speak with the men and encourage them to seek shelter but for those who don’t they try and make sure they have they need to keep warm. That’s why the Star of Hope needs donations from the public.
“We need things like socks and gloves and scarves. Thick blankets and in particular sleeping bags, because sleeping bags hold the body heat.”
The lives of the men may be in turmoil, but whether they sleep on the street or at the shelter, Star of Hope workers try and make them as comfortable as possible.