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REACH shelter schedule set

February 26, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The final sites have been firmed up for this winter's REACH cold weather shelter schedule.

Emmanuel United Methodist Church at 802 Summit Ave. is hosting the shelter through March 7.

The shelter will be at Christ's Reformed United Church of Christ at 130 W. Franklin St. March 7-21.

From March 21 to April 4, the shelter will be at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, 15 S. Mulberry St., Terri Baker, REACH executive director, said Tuesday.

REACH is an acronym for Religious Effort to Assist and Care For the Homeless.

If a permanent REACH headquarters/cold weather shelter in a building next to Christ's Reformed Church on West Franklin Street isn't ready for occupancy next fall, alternate sites have been designated, Baker said. The building is being renovated.

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"We will open the shelter Oct. 31 either way. We have a backup list of locations through Jan. 2, 2005," Baker said.

The shelter has rotated among area churches since 1996. Officials say that will no longer be necessary after the permanent shelter opens.

On Feb. 14, REACH officially launched a capital campaign to raise the $750,000 needed to establish the cold weather shelter and REACH offices on the third floor of the building next to the church. More than $250,000 has been raised, Baker said.

The cold weather shelter is open Monday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and from 3 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday.

New Light Metropolitan Community Church provides breakfast for the homeless from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at 40 W. Church St.

The day shelter, which is coordinated by REACH, Community Action Council and Turning Point, will be open at New Light from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until April 2.

To contact the REACH office, call 301-733-2371 or send e-mail to reachcaregivers@aol.com.

The REACH cold weather shelter provides homeless adults a safe shelter of last resort during the winter months. If a family needs emergency shelter, contact Community Action Council at 301-797-4161 during business hours. After hours, call the CASA hot line at 301-739-8975 to be connected to a REACH crisis volunteer.

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