Morgantown warming shelter online as temps fall

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Hazel’s House of Hope in Morgantown is expanding the warming shelter heading into the winter. Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom announcing the warming shelter will be operating on a twenty-four hour basis throughout this winter and will include more services. Bloom says the warming shelters are now getting staffed so they can be open in time for incoming winter weather.

“The United Way has just started the background checks because you have background checks (for staff), it’s going to be about a week, and we’re going to have that program up for at least 105 days, twenty-four hours a day,” said Bloom on the warming shelters.”

Hazel’s House of Hope will allow people to stay for twenty-four hours and the lobby of the Salvation Army will be used by people during the day. As staffing vacancies get filled more services will be added including bus rides to Downtown Morgantown to another warming shelter near Milan Puskar Heath Right.

“They’re going to bus them down to the Friendship Room downtown, for about three or four weeks,” said Bloom.

The warming shelters will also offer a community room courtesy of a $250,000 contribution between Monongalia County Commission and the City of Morgantown. The room will be in what was the restaurant area of the former Ramada Inn, there social services will be provided during the day when it is fully operational in early 2023.

“We’re going to have a community room out there, kind of like the room that was off of Ramada Inn where you eat, they build out there and that’s going to be done in January,” Bloom said.

This will be the second year in a row where warming shelters were organized and funded by a Monongalia County Commission/City of Morgantown collaborative. For Bloom and other officials involved, their goal is to have a long term system in place where social services working at Hazel’s House of Hope will be able to take over in providing warming shelters for future winters with financial support from government collaboration.

“This isn’t just housing them, but to offer the programs and services that they need,” said Bloom. “So they can be successful and having opportunity to land on their two feet,” he said.