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Homeless fill Martinsburg shelter

January 25, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Tuesday's snowstorm crowded Martinsburg's homeless shelter with people, food and a warm place to stay, according to Sherry Manger, shelter manager.

Manger said she did not know exactly how many people came to the Bethany House on Tuesday, but there were far more than normal, possibly because some organizations that serve the homeless were closed Tuesday.

The shelter at 216 E. John St., which holds about 35 people, was full Tuesday, Manger said.

The Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission continued to offer free meals Tuesday, but there was no noticeable increase in people, a spokesman said.

Up to 12 inches of snow was forecast for some parts of the area between Tuesday and today, and blizzard-like conditions forced many people to stay home Tuesday.

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Overnight, emergency rescue officials were bracing for "near blizzard conditions," and wind-chill factors well below zero.

Besides providing food and shelter for the homeless, the Bethany House also provides transportation to its clients who need rides to work and other commitments, Manger said.

During weather like Tuesday's, Manger said the center always needs volunteers with four-wheel-drive vehicles who can help clients get to work, Manger said.

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