Salvation Army and Community Kitchen Open Cold Weather Shelters
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “We’re getting some pretty nasty weather coming in and some of our neighbors have nowhere to go,” says Major Mark Smith who is the Salvation Army’s Area Commander for Chattanooga.
When temperatures are predicted to be below freezing for a sustained amount of time, the Community Kitchen on 11th Street opens their cold weather shelter.
Tonight, the Salvation Army will open their doors as well. Located at 822 McCallie Avenue, those in need of shelter will not have to take a COVID test but other COVID protocols will be in place.
“We’re gonna be opening our cold weather shelter tonight starting at 5 o’clock,’ says Smith. “We are requiring temperature checks, symptom checks. If there’s symptoms we have a place to isolate people.”
The Salvation Army typically opens when the Community Kitchen needs overflow space. But Southeast Tennessee is experiencing unprecedented homelessness with over 1300 unsheltered individuals in the region according to the latest count. The Community Kitchen on 11th Street will also have its cold weather shelter open tonight.
“We encourage anyone that needs it to certainly take advantage of it,” says Community Kitchen’s interim CEO David Costellow. “I know for different folks that may or may not want to and feel secure where they are but ultimately it really can become about safety and the person’s health.We encourage anyone that needs it to please come see us. We open at 7. We start doing COVID testing at 5 and please take advantage of it and even the next morning we have hot breakfast.”
The Community Kitchen says they can always use donations of blankets and ponchos which can be dropped off at 11th street. The Salvation Army is seeking financial support of its cold weather shelter which officials say costs $1,000 per night to run. If you’re interested in helping, please go to their website at csarmy.org.