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More than 40 per night stay at shelter

November 17, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

More than 40 people per night take advantage of REACH's cold-weather shelter on West Franklin Street in Hagerstown.

The shelter opens at 7 p.m. and is open to adults 18 years of age and older, said Jill Parker, resource specialist for REACH.

Those staying in the shelter also get three meals, including a bagged lunch to take with them in the morning, Parker said.

The shelter operates during all winter months, and closes the first week of April, Parker said.

Different area congregations host the shelter each week, providing the meals and volunteers needed. Running the shelter requires about 10 volunteers each evening.

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In return for their meals and shelter, clients must perform daily chores and are not allowed to have any drugs, alcohol or weapons, Parker said.

The shelter's maximum capacity is 59, and it usually fills to capacity in January and February, Parker said.

A resource center opens at the shelter between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Phones and computers are available to those who need them, and REACH workers try to get the clients connected to the resources they need, Parker said.

The Hagerstown Police Department reminds people about the shelter when necessary and even will assist them in getting there, Lt. Richard Reynolds said.

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