‘It’s heartbreaking’: Fayetteville’s Salvation Army cold weather shelter at capacity

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — “It’s a bit shivering,” said Brian Oomen.

Brian is one of the homeless people staying at the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope shelter in Fayetteville.

“It feels very comforting because then I know I’m not going to be freezing,” Oomen said.

The shelter offers overnight stays to 22 people in the cafeteria.

“They started lining up yesterday at four and we don’t open until 5,” Social Services Director Shelley Hudson said. ‘We were probably full like 5:05.” 

Several people were already lining up before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

“Seeing as how it is going to be in the mid 20s, we want to make sure we get a place,” Oomen said. “We want to make sure we can get a bed because some people show up at the last moment and they’re not able to get one sadly.” 

The shelter opens up on nights when the actual or feels like temperature drops below 32 degrees.

“I think it’s very helpful,” Oomen said. “I’m very grateful for them doing this for us.”

Last night about 15 to 20 people were turned away after space ran out.

“It’s not a very good feeling,” Hudson said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Hudson says she doesn’t know of any other overnight options for homeless men in Fayetteville right now.

The Salvation Army does not get extra money to operate its inclement weather shelter.

They are hoping to be able to add additional space.

The Salvation Army also offers a hot dinner for anyone Monday through Friday at 5 p.m.

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