Mecklenburg County will open an emergency shelter for the homeless at the Grady Cole Center on Kings Drive for the next couple of days as winter weather returns to the Charlotte area.
The shelter is scheduled to be open from 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through noon on Thursday. There's a chance of snow and a low of 28 early Wednesday. It could be even colder early Thursday - 19 degrees.
County homeless services director Peter Safir said the county decided to act based on the forecast of low overnight temperatures and a shortage of beds at other local shelters.
The Grady Cole Center is at 310 N. Kings Drive, on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College. Working with volunteers from the Red Cross, it will offer cots and meals for those who need them over the next two nights. It's open to all, including couples, families and people with service animals, the county said.
It can be reached by CATS buses 9 and 17 from the Transportation Center uptown, as well as by CATS' free streetcar, the City LYNX Gold Line.
The county says outreach workers from the Urban Ministry Center also will be on the streets encouraging homeless people to take shelter. If they refuse, the outreach workers will provide sleeping bags and blankets, the county says.
Other shelters are: the Salvation Army women's and children's shelter on Spratt Street, the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte on North Tryon Street, and the Urban Ministry Center on North College Street. The Urban Ministry Center's Room in the Inn program also has beds at participating house of worship.