DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Davidson County has very limited places designated for people who need a space to stay warm.
As of Friday night, there will be two shelters open to escape the cold and grab a meal.
When a Lexington church was transformed into a shelter in the past, about 30 families showed up. This weekend, the lead pastor expects 80 families.
People in the community worry there are a lot more people who need help and will have nowhere to go when temperatures have a chance of dropping into the single digits.
Only moments after walking through a homeless camp called Tent City, you can see how widespread homelessness is in Davidson County.
Crystal Prince and Patricia Thompson are both advocates for the homeless after their firsthand experiences with the people they love.
They have fought for a white flag shelter for months.
When they thought plans would move forward, they got an email from the CEO of the YMCA that a lack of resources and manpower from agencies put those plans on hold.
“This has been going on all week. They have been telling us they are implementing a plan…Friday night it’s going to be nine degrees with the wind chill of probably 0, and they’re still going to be out there on the ground,” Thompson said.
Currently, there is only one shelter in all of Davidson County.
Davidson County First Hope Ministries has a total of 65 beds at the shelter with only 16 available beds left.
There are plans to build a new shelter with 104 beds for adults and families, but advocates say they are not sure when that will happen.
“They’re going to wait until the weather gets brutal like this and have nothing in place,” Prince said.
To fill in that gap, volunteers at High Rock Church in Lexington started setting up cots in preparation to transform its student center into a warming shelter.
“Once we heard it was going to be a tough weekend for the weather…we pretty much knew we would be involved somehow,” said Andy Clark, lead pastor at High Rock Church.
Church leaders plan to serve breakfast, soup and coffee for the families who show up Friday night.
“I think a lot of people want to do more than they can…unfortunately, they don’t have the resources. I think a lot of people have compassionate hearts to want to help. I just don’t think they know how,” Clark said.
Church leaders at High Rock Church are looking for volunteers for this weekend.
If you would like to help out, call the church at (336) 237-1126
The warming center is open from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.