Men's shelter

Samuel Whittaker folds a blanket Tuesday at the Hope Mission men’s shelter in Morehead City. He’s among several that have found a warm place to stay at the shelter during the cold. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — With temperatures dipping down near freezing Monday and Tuesday, the Hope Mission men’s homeless shelter has seen an increase in those seeking shelter from the cold.

“Before the cold snap we had four men here. We had four more come in last night because of the cold,” men’s shelter supervisor Joe Dowell said Tuesday. “Right now we’re not going to turn anybody away. This brutal cold could take a life in a heartbeat.”

Hope Mission Executive Director Gene McLendon said the organization would also take women seeking shelter from the cold weather at the women’s shelter.

“If there’s a woman needing a place to stay during this cold, we’ll make room,” Mr. McLendon said.

Mr. Dowell said as well as providing shelter from the weather, he has been handing out hats and gloves to those needing them.

“We’ve been handing them out during lunch (at the soup kitchen) to those who need them,” Mr. Dowell said.

Samuel Whittaker was among those staying at the men’s shelter Tuesday. He said he was grateful to have a warm place to stay.

“Before I came here, I was living in my car,” Mr. Whittaker said.

According to the National Weather Service in Newport, temperatures will dip near freezing again Wednesday night and gradually increase as the week progresses. Highs Thursday are expected to be near 54 degrees with lows in the 40s.

As for those seeking shelter during the cold snap, Mr. McLendon said individuals can call Hope Mission at 252-240-2359 or come by the men’s shelter at Hope Mission at 1410 Bridges St. in Morehead City.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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