Warming shelter opens for winter 2022-'23

Warming shelter beds

MORGANTOWN – As the chill of winter sets in, several organizations and individuals have come together to manage and operate a cold weather shelter. The Monongalia County warming shelter opened for the season Thursday, Dec. 1, at Hazel’s House of Hope in Morgantown.

It will be open until March 31, 2023, for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The goal of the shelter is to provide a gap in vital services by keeping those who are unsheltered safe this winter.

Free bus transportation is available to the facility until 8 p.m. daily. Friendship House in downtown Morgantown is open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily to serve as a cold shelter.

Several area organizations have partnered together to manage and operate the shelter.

United Way of Mon and Preston Counties developed a plan, secured funding and is overseeing the operation of the shelter. Milan Puskar Health Right is providing daytime shelter space, resources, volunteers, medical equipment and training to staff and volunteers working at the shelter.

Morgantown Community Resources, Inc., is providing the shelter facility at Hazel’s House of Hope. The Salvation Army is allowing the use of its space between the main lobby and the dining room at Hope Café and are providing cots, meals, and kitchen access to replenish drinks, water, and supplies. Lauren’s Wish is providing staff training and support.

Catholic Charities of West Virginia will oversee invoicing and payroll. Community Kitchen is assisting with meals and backpack foods as needed.

First Presbyterian Church and Morgantown RAMP is providing a group of community members to use Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds to place children, families and others who may not be able to stay in a group shelter. There are more than 30 volunteers who have stepped up to recruit qualified staff and work in the shelter.

Funds for staffing were secured by The City of Morgantown, the Monongalia County Commission, Milan Puskar Foundation and Your Community Foundation. Other funds were donated by St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish, James F. Giuliani, Karen Giuliani and James A. Giuliani for support, supplies and emergency expenses. Donations can still be made to the shelter by contacting the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties.

For more information, call 304-296-7525 or email janette@unitedwaympc.org.