"The people are out there. They're just invisible," said Springer, assistant director of the Washington County Department of Social Services.
Some of the 1,500 that used the shelter last year stayed more than once, Springer said.
"There was a core that was almost there from the beginning," Springer said.
The cold weather shelter was started last year to serve homeless people who could not get into other shelters because of admittance requirements or because the shelters were full. Some shelters take only women and children, or do not admit people who have been drinking.
Shelter officials said a lot of the people left homeless during the winter are single men, many with addictions or mental problems.
As it did last year, the Cold Weather Homeless Shelter will rotate among eight churches in the area, staying at each location for two weeks. It will be open from Nov. 9 to April 5. The churches donate a cot and food, and Washington County Hospital donates pillows and bed linens, Springer said.
About 150 volunteers helped run the shelter last year, but organizers are not sure how many will return.
People interested in volunteering may attend two training sessions on Oct. 9 and Oct. 18 at Christ Reformed Church on West Franklin Street.
Volunteers are needed to help check in people to the shelters and "be a friend" to them, Springer said. They are trained in how to keep services consistent from church to church and in the rules, such as no alcohol, weapons or loud behavior.
Interested volunteers can contact Frank Beckwith at 1-301-733-2371.