The Rockmart Homeless Initiative has been continuously working to help the local community members in need, and with winter arriving has more to do than ever.
With the cold weather arriving once again, the organization has plans for opening the overnight shelter to ensure that Rockmart’s homeless have a place to stay when temperatures dip down too low to be sleeping outdoors.
RHI hosts the emergency cold weather shelter at Abundant Life Community Center at 209 Litchfield Street in Rockmart.
The pastors of the church allow the organization to use the sanctuary of their building, housing about 25 people at a time due to the limited supply of cots and materials.
The shelter only opens for one to three nights when the cold weather temperatures are continually extreme, typically between the months of November and January. Last season, RHI opened the space for a combined total of fifteen days.
In addition to opening a location for those in need to have a place to stay indoors, volunteers or community members usually donate a meal for dinner that night and then breakfast the next morning.
Due to this year’s recent cold temperatures, RHI opened the shelter on November 12 and 13, and will continue to monitor the weather and open the location again when the need arises.
“The first two nights of the season went very well,” RHI Director Victoria Millhollan said. “We had a really good turnout and have a routine now after opening last year.”
“It gives me time to have one-on-one conversations with people and learn more about them,” she added.
RHI is requesting donations that can be dropped off during their office hours of Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will be open additionally on Saturdays in December.
Needed items include thermal clothing, coats and jackets, gloves, tents and tarps, flashlights, hot hands, batteries, pop-top canned food items, snacks, and bottled water.