Multiple partners open warming shelter in Mon County

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia County warming shelter at Hazel’s House of Hope is now open. United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties Community Impact Director Janette Lewis said the facility on Scott Avenue will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week through March 31, 2023.

“As of October 30, the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness estimates there are 136 unsheltered in Monongalia County,” Lewis said. “And that would be just those that we know are documented.”

Some of the funding for the shelter has come from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish, James F. Giuliani, Karen Giuliani and James A. Giuliani for support, supplies and emergency expenses. But, Lewis said additional support from the public would be welcomed.

“Financing for this came from the city of Morgantown, the Monongalia County Commission, Milan Puskar Foundation gave grant money and Your Community Foundation,” Lewis said.

Morgantown Community Resources is providing the space at Hazel’s House of Hope, the Salvation Army is providing cots, meals and kitchen access and Lauren’s Wish is providing staff training and support. Catholic Charities of West Virginia is administering the paperwork, Community Kitchen is also assisting with meals and backpack foods. The First Presbyterian Church and Morgantown RAMP will place families with children or those who cannot stay in a group setting with Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds.

“Our winters it could be 45 degrees, really raining and people are in danger of hypothermia,” Lewis said. “So we didn’t want it based on temperature, so we’re just open.”

Additionally, the Friendship House in downtown Morgantown will offer shelter from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

“The bus runs until 8 p.m. up to Hazel’s House of Hope and the bus is free,” Lewis said. “It runs every half-hour, but in case that wouldn’t be an option we have people who have volunteered to transport people there as needed.”