Upstate shelters open as temps drop below freezing

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CHEROKEE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – With temperatures expected to dip below freezing Monday night, we wanted to find out what options there were for those without a home or a place to stay warm.

7 News spoke with folks in Cherokee County who prepared to help make sure no one would be out in the cold.

“It’s hard for me to sleep this time of year,” Renee Snapp, with Gaffney Street Homeless Ministry, said.

When Renee Snapp saw Monday night’s forecast, she spent part of her day going out and checking on the homeless in Cherokee County.

For those who didn’t have what they needed to stay warm, she provided it.

“You cannot see them, how they’re living, knowing they’re spending the night outside, and not have a heart for it,” Snapp said. “You just can’t.”

Some of the items she handed out included gloves, hats, and blankets–all things that were donated by the community.

But as much as she tried to supply the homeless with the things they’ll need to stay warm, she told 7 News it’s not always enough.

“It’s going to be cold and I know the faces. It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “You cannot lay in a warm bed at night and know that they’re out there. You’re hoping they’re warm enough.”

And Snapp said she knows there are others in the community she hasn’t been able to help.

“It is really shocking to me the number of people that live on our street, right here in Cherokee County,” she said.

That’s why, Snapp said, she’s thankful for places like the Miracle Hill Rescue Mission, where folks who don’t have a place to stay warm can go.

“We’ve had people in our community who have frozen to death because they didn’t come to the shelter,” Director of Miracle Hill Rescue Mission of Cherokee County, Andy Cooper, said. “We don’t want to see that. That’s why we’re here.”

Any time the temperature is at 40 degrees or below, the shelter opens their doors.

“We put up our white flag and that lets everybody in the community know our cold weather shelter is open,” Cooper said. “Get something to eat, be able to get a shower, and sleep in a safe place. That’s what we do.”

Animals are not allowed in the shelter.

If you’d like to donate cold-weather items to the homeless, Snapp said they’re in dire need of small tents, blankets, hand warmers, and canned food with pull-tabs.

You can drop off donations at the Miracle Hill Rescue Mission on Henderston Street or Opsource on Walton Drive in Gaffney.

The Miracle Hill Rescue Missions in Spartanburg and Greenville Counties opened Monday night as well.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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