Midlands shelters prepare homeless community for cold weather - DatelineCarolina

Midlands shelters prepare homeless community for cold weather

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Donations of winter clothes are sent to Oliver Gospel Mission to assist the homeless. Donations of winter clothes are sent to Oliver Gospel Mission to assist the homeless.
Oliver Gospel Mission Program Director Reid Dale says the shelter has housed nearly 100 men in the past five days. Oliver Gospel Mission Program Director Reid Dale says the shelter has housed nearly 100 men in the past five days.

By Stan Smith

After weeks of near-record high temperatures in Columbia, people in the Midlands are bundling up for uncommonly cold temperatures in March.

Homeless shelters such as Oliver Gospel Mission are gearing up to help Columbia's homeless as night temperatures drop to the 20s.  Program Director Reid Dale says this weather is unusual for this time of year, but the shelter stays ready.

"It's pretty late but any time the temperature drops below 40 degrees at night, we are glad to provide additional space," says Dale.

Oliver Gospel Mission provides coats and shoes for those in need.

"We provide clothing, is available as well. Men can tell us what their clothing needs are, and we provide those on a weekly basis. That just happened to be this morning so the timing fit well," says Dale.

Most importantly, they provide a warm place to sleep from the cold.

"We have a 56 bed facility, and I can tell you over the past five nights in the additional overflow, we have had 97 guys," says Dale.

Despite the weather outside, Dale says there is a welcoming, family-like atmosphere inside the shelter.

"It's a great environment. Most of the guys who come here know each other and get along very well," he says.

Oliver Gospel Mission accepts monetary, clothing, and food donations to assist the homeless community.

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