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Volunteers needed for Overflow Shelter

BRATTLEBORO—The combination of dropping temperatures and increasing numbers of homeless has placed pressure on local shelters.

The Emergency Overflow Shelter could provide a temporary stop-gap for people sleeping outside, but the overnight shelter located at the First Baptist Church on Main Street needs volunteers to open early.

Lucie Fortier, executive director of the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center, and Joshua Davis, executive director of Morningside Shelter, say they would open the emergency shelter a month early, on Nov. 3, if enough people volunteer to staff the overnight shelter.

The emergency overflow shelter is normally open Nov. 30 to mid-April, they said.

Both the Drop In Center and Morningside have seen the number of people seeking services increase between July and September. Morningside had 150 households call for assistance, said Davis.

The Drop-In Center had 171 individuals, including women and children, last winter at the overflow shelter, said Fortier.

“We need more capacity,” said Davis. “The overflow shelter is not a long-term solution."

Volunteer shifts are from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and 1 to 7 a.m. People can partner to split shifts as well, said Fortier.

To volunteer, contact Lucie Fortier at 802-257-5415, ext. 103, or lfortier@BADIC.comcastbiz.net.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #226 (Wednesday, October 23, 2013). This story appeared on page A3.

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