Officials at Lincolntonâ€™s Hesed House of Hope recently finished paying off outstanding funds on the new facility but due to a warmer winter and early opening, have seen a decrease in the number of individuals utilizing the shelter this season.
Hesed House Board Chairman Kenny Long believes that many individuals are unaware that the facility has re-opened for the winter season.
â€œI am not sure that word has spread yet,â€ he said.
In addition, he noted that the frigid nights residentsâ€™ witnessed last year have yet to hit the county this year, temperatures that will more than likely force additional individuals into the shelter.
â€œOnce it begins to get colder, more folks will come,â€ Long said.
Currently, there are three people staying at the shelter, he noted. The facility has the capacity to hold 35 individuals.
Long said that the shelter is in great need of volunteers this season, and that some winter nights have yet to be covered. Each evening starting at 6:30 p.m., volunteers monitor the shelter throughout the night â€œto make sure we have no issues,â€ he said. Volunteers additionally provide the shelterâ€™s food for the evening.
Hesed House officials encourage individuals to stay multiple nights if necessary.
â€œAnyone who needs shelter we want them to use it,â€ Long said. â€œWe donâ€™t want anyone to be out in the cold.â€
The new facility, which cost between $320,000 and $325,000, opened last season during the shelterâ€™s last month of operation. It was paid off earlier this month through fundraisers and donations from residents, area businesses and other community organizations.
Long noted his gratefulness for the contractors who granted Hesed House officials a looser payment plan.
â€œTwo of our contractors agreed to allow us to take ownership of the facility and pay them as we raised the needed funds,â€ he said.
Long revealed that the facilityâ€™s monthly utilities currently range between $1,200 and $1,400 and that officials will continue to do fundraisers in the future in order to stay in operation.
Hesed House of Hope is located off of Lincoln Street at 100 Ann Gaither Court in Lincolnton. For more information on volunteer opportunities, email Kenny Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.