Packed Triad homeless shelters try to make room for families during winter

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Dana Hall has had one of the toughest years of her life.

"Just try going outside and standing for an hour," Hall said. "Just try that with nowhere to go and then ask yourself, what would you do?"

She left her husband, but didn't have a place to go or a stable job. She's been homeless for months and at times even sleeping out of her car.

Despite all that, she's determined things will get better.

"A safe place, a warm place to be means a lot," Hall said.

That warm, safe place for Hall and more than 60 families is the Salvation Army Center of Hope.

"Hope to me it means, just means opportunity," Social Services Director Antoine Dalton said. "Having ambition, having a drive."

Dalton and volunteers here try to create an environment that inspires hope and ambition to break the cycle of homelessness.

"Even when staff take vacations, a lot of the time they're here anyway just to contribute and help out," Dalton said.

As for Hall, she's studying to be in the hospitality industry or in emergency services. She'll start taking classes in 2018, but the services she gets from the Center of Hope allows her to make that happen.

"You find other ways to be grateful in life and to be able to stay here and get to go to college and start again, it's just so important," she said.

Unfortunately, the shelter is constantly at capacity this time of year. Dalton says the phone calls go throughout the night and day. They've opened up some overflow rooms for families when they have no where else to go, but collaborate with other local partners and shelters to help. The path to getting back on your feet always starts with a roof over your head.

"If you got nowhere to sleep and plan for your next day out of the cold and the wind and the elements, it's just borderline impossible," Hall said.