Pearson came to Hagerstown about a month ago from South Carolina. She said she left a "dead town" where there were no jobs and nothing was happening.
She came to Hagerstown with her daughter and grandson to stay with friends. The friends "threw us out" and suggested they go stay at the shelter, Pearson said.
The family has been staying at REACH's shelter since it opened for the season.
Pearson spends her days walking around, sometimes going to the library or "anywhere you can get in," she said.
REACH also has a day center for the homeless, called the Day Resource Center, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday during the winter.
"This organization is one of the blessed things this town has," said one man who declined to give his name.
The day center allows people to make phone calls and look for work, he said.
On Friday night, some of the shelter's clients watched television while one woman sat at a table putting together a puzzle.
The First Christian Church of Hagerstown on Potomac Avenue was responsible for volunteers that week.
Volunteers made the dinner of fried chicken, green beans, bread, mashed potatoes and cookies, a meal that received rave reviews.
For the last smoking break of the evening, before lights are out at 10 p.m., more than a dozen men and women went downstairs and out to the parking lot behind the shelter.
One man took table scraps and set them out for a family of kittens.
Anyone who would like to volunteer at REACH's cold weather shelter may call 301-733-2371, ext. 108.
The following items appear on REACH's "needs list." Anyone wanting to donate items may take them to REACH at 140 W. Franklin St. in Hagerstown between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
o Chicken noodle soup
o Saltine crackers
o Ginger ale
o Ground coffee
o Instant coffee
o Instant hot chocolate
o Creamer shakers
o Dry cereal
o Instant oatmeal packets
o Travel size or small size foot powder & shaving cream
o Powdered drink mix
o Instant Gatorade
o Powdered milk
o Paper napkins
o Large 55-gallon drum liners
o 13-gallon trash bags
o Hand wipes
o Hand sanitizer (60 percent alcohol base), personal size and larger size
o Disinfectant wipes
o Stainless steel cleaner
o Multi-purpose spray cleaner
o CLR or Limeaway
o High-efficiency liquid laundry detergent
o Pre-treatment laundry stain remover
o Plastic shower curtains
o String-like mop heads
o Disposable rubber gloves
o Non-latex gloves
o Heavy work gloves
o Men's undershirts
o Thermal underwear
o Face masks
o Monetary donations