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Shelter has space for a few more

January 29, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

The REACH Cold Weather Shelter has been close to full but not at record levels during the wintry weather over the past few days, the organization's executive director said Wednesday.

There were 44 homeless people - 10 women and 34 men - who stayed at the shelter Monday night, Terri Baker, executive director of REACH, or Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless, said Tuesday.

There also were 44 people who stayed at the shelter Tuesday night, she said Wednesday.

While that is close to full, the shelter can still house a few more people, she said.

The shelter has been at about that level for the last few days, she said.

The most people the shelter has had in one night is 53, earlier this winter, Baker said.

Baker said she has a theory on why the shelter did not reach a record level during the bad weather.

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"Family and friends who have turned (homeless) people away before may let them in during severe weather," she said.

Something similar often happens during the holidays, she said.

The shelter does not have a permanent location; it rotates among area churches.

The shelter has been at Trinity Lutheran Center for the last few weeks, Baker said.

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