60-bed shelter to open in Concord for the homeless this winter
CONCORD- For months, outreach workers have been warning there would be no cold weather shelter in Concord this winter. This week, Mayor Jim Bouley announced Saint Peter's Church will house 60 beds for the homeless.
There were two churches available last year, but both decided to end their programs. Saint Peters will act as an overnight shelter with a separate area for those who deal with substance abuse.
The timing couldn't be better. 52-year-old Robert "Red" Glodgett, a homeless man who stayed in one of the shelters for the past six winters, died just a few weeks ago, reportedly from complications of pneumonia.
Ellen Groh, Executive Director of the Concord Coalition to End Homelesses, said the agency was working with Glodgett to find permanent housing.
“It was really sad, we had been working with him, we were trying to locate housing for him. Jackie Thompson was working with him. This is what's so unfortunate, being homeless takes years and years sometimes decades off of somebody’s life,” Groh said.
According to Groh, providing shelter is just one step in fighting homelessness. The goal is to provide permanent housing.
It’s unclear when the shelter will be ready to open and it will require from taxpayer money.
The Friends Program will manage the program, they’re currently looking for more volunteers. Executive Director Jerry Madden said they’re happy to be a part of this effort.
“For us, this is a little outside of our comfort zone, but we believe we have the resources to be able to help out this year,” Madden said.
They will be holding an informational meeting next Monday, December 21st at 6pm at Saint Peters Parish Hall for anyone who may be interested in volunteering.