SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Cold weather shelters are opening in the Upstate for those who may need them.
“We take everyone, we give them a mat, some blankets, they get to shower, they get to eat a warm meal,” said Yolanda Campusano Pilarte.
Miracle Hill Rescue Missions are located in Greenville, Gaffney and Spartanburg.
“We’re very blessed that Miracle Hill has a cold weather shelter, they can take up to 125, at least. They’re not going to turn people away,” said Beth Rutherford, a homeless engagement specialist.
When the white flag is raised, the shelter is open.
“During cold weather nights, we do not reject anyone, as long as they can behave, it doesn’t matter how you come,” said Campusano Pilarte.
Campusano Pilarte, communications and public relations for Miracle Hill, said the cold weather shelters open when it’s 40 degrees or lower. She said they also open when it’s 43 degrees and there’s a high chance of precipitation.
In Spartanburg, city officials said they’re in constant communication with the shelter.
“We’re working constantly with Miracle Hill to make sure that shelter isn’t overflowing,” said Chris George, with the city.
George said the number of people experiencing homelessness is on the rise.
“We’re ready, along with United Way of Piedmont, to identify those folks if that were to happen,” said George. “We would provide alternate shelter options through United Way.”
He said if it’s necessary, they will temporarily put people in motels.
There are ways the community can help.
“The best way to help them is to go through the service providers and find out what their needs are,” said George.
“Our biggest need is for socks and clean, new underwear,” said Campusano Pilarte.
Rutherford said if you give out food or clothes to people on the street, they may not have a place for it. She says the best way to help is by bringing donations to the shelter.
“Then the people can come in, get what they need, and not lose all their other stuff,” she said.
The hours for the cold weather shelter are from around 8 p.m.- 6 a.m. Rutherford said the cold weather shelter in Spartanburg usually stays open from the end of November through February.
For more information on where you can take donations, volunteer, or where you can access resources, click here.