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Cold weather shelter housed at area churches

March 09, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

While the REACH office has moved into permanent headquarters at 140 W. Franklin St., Suite 300, there is still work to be done before the cold weather shelter can relocate there.

"As with any construction, there have been delays," said Terri Baker, executive director of REACH. "The kitchen equipment won't be installed until the end of March."

There are other things that aren't completed.

"We are just not in a position where we can have 50 people housed here yet," she said Friday.

Because of that, REACH needed to call on area churches to come up with last-minute accommodations to finish out the 2004-05 winter season. Baker said many were pulling together to provide temporary sites through the end of March.

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"Some have already done a stint this season, but they are willing to step forward again," Baker said. Some coordinators are coming back in to help run the shelter sites in the last few weeks.

The shelter's schedule for the rest of the winter season is:

· Christ's Reformed Church, 130 W. Franklin St., through March 13.

· Grace United Methodist Church, Church and Winter streets, March 13 to 20.

· Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown, 20 S. Prospect St., March 20 to 28.

The shelter is open seven days a week, Mondays through Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The REACH Cold Weather Shelter will reopen for its 10th year at the new REACH Center on Sunday, Oct. 30.

Since 1996, the REACH Cold Weather Shelter has provided homeless adults with a safe shelter where they can avoid the risk of death or bodily harm from hypothermia. It also provides information and services to shelter guests for specific needs.

A family in need of emergency shelter may contact Community Action Council at 301-797-4161 during business hours. After hours, contact the CASA hot line at 301-739-8975 to be connected to a REACH crisis volunteer.

The REACH office number is 301-733-2371 and the e-mail address is reach@myactv.net.

REACH stands for Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless.

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