Shelter Agencies to Open White Flag Emergency Warming Sites
YWCA Greensboro, IRC, and GUM Working to Keep People Living Outside Safe on Dangerous Winter Nights
When temperatures become frigid, the Interactive Resource Center, YWCA Greensboro and Greensboro Urban Ministry will be working with the city to ensure those who are living outside have a safe place to escape the bitter cold.
For those experiencing homelessness who are not staying in shelters, living outside in places unfit for human habitation often becomes the only viable choice. As temperatures fall, this creates a highly dangerous situation for our most vulnerable neighbors.
Using the City of Greensboro Winter Emergency Response Plan as a guide, the city and agencies will to declare white flag emergency conditions when temperatures drop to a wind chill of 25 degrees or colder for two hours or more.
White flag specifically means that additional emergency warming centers will be opened that follow relaxed rules so people can get in out of the cold overnight. A warming center is a large heated space
with chairs rather than beds that allows people to sit indoors out of the cold. It does not typically provide shelter beds.
The IRC will serve as the coordinating agency for the White Flag Emergency Response and the arrival point for people needing to go to a warming center on dangerously cold nights. The following warming centers will open on white flag emergency nights:
- YWCA Greensboro : A 40-chair warming center for men, women and families with children
- GUM: A 20-chair warming center in Weaver House lobby for men and women
- IRC: A 40-chair warming center for people with restrictions on where they can reside
Lack of affordable housing pushes many in poverty out of their housing and into shelters. For those who may face additional challenges, such as a prior criminal record that includes sex offenses, finding shelter can be difficult.
The IRC is a day center that serves 200 people experiencing homelessness each day. The YWCA Greensboro and Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Pathways Center provide shelter for families year-round. GUM’s Weaver House night shelter provides 86 beds for men and 14 beds for women year round. In addition, GUM and congregational partners are in the process of opening several Weaver Extension (WE) sites to provide 71 more shelter beds for men and women from December through March.
To learn more about how to support the white flag emergency response, please contact the Interactive Resource Center, www.gsodaycenter.org, or (336) 322-0824.