Upstate homeless shelters over capacity during cold snap

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Consecutive nights of sub-freezing temperatures have spurred plans in the Upstate to make sure the area’s most vulnerable don’t die in the cold.

In Spartanburg, Miracle Hill Ministries, just like other shelters, opens a cold weather shelter when the overnight temperature is 40 degrees and below. With no end in sight for temperatures in the lower 20s and teens, their cold weather shelter is at-capacity.

A white flag is raised just below the American flag at the entrance to Miracle Hill on N. Forest Street. It’s a visual alert to help spread the word of the streets that the cold weather shelter is open. Director Calvin Vinson says he doesn’t see the flag coming down anytime soon.

Vinson says when the cold weather shelter is at-capacity, they turn the room that’s normally their chapel room into a room full of sleep mats. In total, Vinson says Tuesday night will be their third consecutive night of serving nearly 170 men, women, and children.

“Many of these folks are here simply to survive. One night of cold is one thing. They’re not used to the extended cold,” says Vinson.

He also says residents are normally sent out during the day but when daytime temperatures are in the lower 30’s, the shelter remains open during the day.

If you’d like to help Miracle Hill serve the homeless in the Upstate, Vinson says there’s always a need for insulated socks, also underwear and blankets.
Feel free to drop off donations at the shelter on N. Forest Street in downtown Spartanburg.