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Richmond opens overnight shelter to help people get out of the cold: 'Everyone should have somewhere to go'

Posted at 6:47 AM, Nov 01, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- The City of Richmond opened an inclement weather shelter Tuesday night to provide some relief to people without homes or in vulnerable situations.

Dozens of people lined up outside the shelter at 730 E. Broad Street to secure their spot in the first come, first serve shelter when it opened at 5:30 p.m.

Gerald Polard was among the people experiencing homelessness trying figure out what to do as temperatures drop.

“I want everyone to get in and get out of this cold. Some people can stay in the cold but some people can not,” he said.

Roughly 700 people are experiencing homelessness in Richmond, according to data collected in January by the organization Homeward.

A spokesperson for the city of Richmond did not share capacity figures for Tuesday’s inclement weather shelters.

The City continued to accept people as of 7 p.m.

Richmond does not have city-operated permanent inclement weather shelter.

In September, people were turned away because of capacity issues at what the city called “ a place of last refuge" for the homeless during Tropical Storm Ophelia

Polard found gratitude that these types of resources exist, and he expressed how he hoped they will expand, so no one has to stay on the streets.

“I think everyone should have somewhere to go. The world is so big. Even animals have somewhere to go,” he said.

A city spokesperson confirmed the shelter would open again Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Dinner, breakfast, and snacks will be provided.

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