Shelters prepare to take in the homeless during snow storm

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) —  As the snow starts to fall, along with the temperatures, there is concern for those who have no place to call home.

Local shelters, including the Salvation Army, are opening their doors and kitchens for extended hours providing shelter and food.

The Salvation Army in Norfolk has not closed for the last five days and is now serving three meals a day,  instead of two, so the homeless will not have to go out during the day.

10 On Your Side talked with some very grateful men there Wednesday morning.

“We are homeless people and it’s very cold outside and some of us might not make it through the cold if it wasn’t for a place like this,” said Avery White.

Antonio Sanders told 10 On Your Side, “Right now it’s a blessing for me to be able to come here and find a place of refuge.”

Sanders is using a wheelchair while he awaits a double hip replacement. He said he and others would probably not survive out in the cold.

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That’s why Salvation Army spokesperson Meilssa Medel told us they will stay open 24-7 feeding and housing the homeless until the weather improves.

“And additionally we do have some coats still available from the WAVY ‘Coats for Families’ program that we have been passing out to some of the men and women in the community.”

While they spread warmth, they’re asking the community to spread the word. “Letting people know this is a safe place, a warm place and they can get food in their bellies and jacket if they need it,” Medel said.

The Salvation Army shelter is located on 19th Street in Norfolk behind Doumar’s.

“Norfolk has a very sophisticated winter operations plan for our homeless population that’s been activated for weeks,” said Norfolk city spokesperson Lori Crouch. “We work in partnership with the Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST) as well as community partners to ensure that everyone has a warm place to stay. NEST is equipped to manage the overnight need and we have a place during the day for these folks to stay.”