With temperatures going down into the 20s this week, the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Coalition has called a Code Purple for people who need shelter.
Starting Dec. 1, shelter was made available at First Congregational UCC, 20 Oak St., for about 30 men and up to 20 women and children. This is in partnership with Western Carolina Rescue Mission with the following guidelines in effect:
- Entry between 4 and 7 p.m.; no entries are allowed after 7 p.m.
- Masks are required.
- No ID is required.
- Weapons are not permitted but can be checked in with staff at entry to be returned to the client at exit.
- People will only be asked to leave for non-compliance with masks, violence, and drinking or using on site.
- If people leave voluntarily or are asked to leave, they cannot re-enter later the same night, but are welcome back to the next Code Purple.
More shelter options
Salvation Army (eligibility limited to chronically homeless with underlying CDC-identified health concerns, call 828-253-4723) and the Western Carolina Rescue Mission (Call early for intake, 828-254-0471, must have ID and negative COVID test in the last 24 hours).
VRQ and Steadfast House veterans contact: 828-398-6609.
Waiting list for civilian women and children: 828-398-6920.
A Daytime Warming Center is available at Central United Methodist Church, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – noon, unless the wind chill is below 50 degrees, then the closing time will be 3 p.m. Masks are required and capacity will be limited to approximately 50 people at a time.
AHOPE Day Center, 19 N. Ann St., will continue to operate out of the basement level for showers, storage, and mail.
Thank you to Western Carolina Rescue Ministries and First Congregational UCC for facilitating this additional shelter. COVID-19 has brought many challenges but has also created opportunities for creativity and unique partnerships.
The Rescue Mission is continuing to build a staff pool to support Code Purple. If you or someone you know is interested, contact Michael Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Asheville Homeless Initiative
Through its Homeless Initiative, the City of Asheville is in active partnership with the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Coalition, providing resources and helping to forge community connections to assist people experiencing homelessness or who are at imminent risk of losing their home.