GUEST shelter wraps up first winter season
This week, GUEST, the Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team, enters its final week of providing overnight hypothermic shelter for the winter season. Sunday will be the last night of the shelter this winter.
According to GUEST spokesperson Kevin Sweeney, about 35 individuals stayed at the shelter over the course of the winter. An average of 5-6 people stayed in the shelter each night. The shelter hosted single men and women as well as families.
“For the first time in Gloucester, there was shelter for the homeless during winter months,” Sweeney said.
The GUEST initiative began with a few concerned Gloucester citizens who had a goal of getting people who needed shelter out of the cold overnight and feeding them.
The shelter officially opened Jan. 13 at the Gloucester Salvation Army.
The shelter moved from location to location, with each shelter location taking a week at a time. This winter, different sites hosted the shelter, Sweeney said. In addition to the Salvation Army; the DAV, Newington Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Bethany United Methodist Church served as hosts.