MORGANTOWN — With temperatures dipping below freezing and winter rapidly approaching, various community partners have come together to open a warming shelter.
The shelter, located in the Hazel House of Hope, on Scott Avenue, is open any time the temperature drops below 40 degrees.
During this week’s regular meeting, the Monongalia County Commission allocated $10,000 for shelter operations.
Morgantown City Council will consider its own financial contribution when it next convenes on Nov. 16.
Along with support from the city and county, the shelter is a collaborative effort of The Salvation Army, United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties and Bartlett House — all of which work out of the Scott Avenue facility.
Bartlett House Executive Director Keri DeMasi said the shelter currently has room for 17 people, but efforts are under way to identify and prepare additional space.
The Scott Avenue location is about four miles from downtown Morgantown.
“The Caritas House used to be the cold weather shelter, which is also on Scott Avenue,” Morgantown Mayor Jenny Selin said. “In between, the Spruce Street church and some other places have been used, but this is a good, solid location where numerous organizations can collaborate together. It seems like a good fit.”
Mountain Line’s Don Knotts route, which provides service to the facility, runs from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. seven days a week.
Additionally, Deputy Mayor Danielle Trumble said some of the funding allocated to the shelter will be used to provide bus passes for those who need them. She said volunteers and social services will also help get people to the shelter if the need arises.
While trained staff will be on hand when the shelter is open, volunteers are needed.