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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Hazel’s House of Hope in Morgantown is expanding their warming shelters heading into the winter. Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom announcing that warming shelters will be operating on a twenty-four hour basis throughout the winter with unique opportunities being presented to those using the shelters. Bloom says the warming shelters are now getting staffed so they can be open in time for incoming winter weather.
“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 be offering a place to stay for twenty-four hours with the lobby of the Salvation Army allowed to be used by people during the day. As staffing vacancies get filled and other ammentities are able to be provided, people using the warming shelters will also be offered rides to Downtown Morgantown at a warming shelter near the 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 occupied in space formerly used as a restaurant at the former Ramada Inn and will provide social services during the day when it is fully opened 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.