SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As the cold days and nights become more common in our area this time of the year, many people will begin bundling up and turn on the heat inside their homes. Often times, that is not the case for people experiencing homelessness in the community.
“Having a house and a place to stay at night, food to eat, heat, is something that we often take for granted,” said Kevin Walters, Counselor at the Spartanburg Miracle Hill Rescue Mission.
With the winter months approaching, those who are experiencing homelessness often times don’t have access to a hot meal or an escape from the freezing temperatures.
“The places are limited for homeless people to go,” said Matt Summey, Director of the Spartanburg Miracle Hill Rescue Mission.
According to a 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, South Carolina has more than 4,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given day. This is one of the reasons why the Miracle Hill Rescue Mission says it is working to help others.
When the temperature outside drops below 40 degrees, its cold weather shelters open.
“With the cold weather shelter, it gives that individual another opportunity to come in and get warm for the night and get a meal,” said Walters.
The mission has multiple cold weather shelters across the Upstate, including in Spartanburg, Greenville and Gaffney. They all offer a warm place to stay when the temperatures are too cold to withstand.
“They are lined up at the gates. We serve a hot meal when they come in. They are always very grateful for that hot meal and being able to have a place where they are out of the frost,” said Summey.
Outside of the Spartanburg mission, they fly a white flag. It signifies days and nights the cold weather shelter is open.
“It’s a white flag that goes up out front of the mission. That lets the community know, the homeless community know that we will be open that evening,” said Summey.
The mission operates year-round, however with the change in temperature, it is expecting to soon see an influx of people along with usual guests.
“Though we operate a shelter year-round, our cold weather guests are just as important to us,” said Summey. “We want to see lives changed here.”
There are multiple day shelters and cold weather shelters open in an effort to decrease the number of people left out on the streets in the cold. Here is a list of some of the homeless and cold weather shelters in the area:
Cold Weather Shelters
(also operate as homeless shelters)
- Spartanburg Rescue Mission (Men, Women, and children)
- 189 N. Forest Street, Spartanburg, S.C.
- Cherokee County Rescue Mission (Men, Women, and children)
- 227 Henderson Street, Gaffney, S.C.
- Greenville Rescue Mission (Men only)
- 575 W. Washington Street, Greenville, S.C.
- Shepherd’s Gate (Women and children only)
- 11 Regency Hill Drive, Greenville, S.C.
- Spartanburg Interfaith Hospital
- 899 S. Pine Street, Spartanburg, S.C.
- United Ministries Place of Help Day Shelter
- 600 Pendleton Street, Greenville, S.C.
- Miracle Hill Boys’ Shelter
- 2709 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville, S.C.
- Our Daily Rest
- 525 E. Main Street, Seneca, S.C.
- Caring for Children | Trinity Place: Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter
- 12 Ravenscroft Drive, Asheville, N.C.