As the weeks have worn on and as the winter has turned bitter cold, more and more people have been turning to GUEST (the Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team) for overnight shelter. “The number of ‘guests’ is increasing steadily and it is a blessing to the community that GUEST is open this winter,” said group spokesperson Kevin Sweeney.
The Disabled American Veterans’ Gloucester chapter home, located on Short Lane, is hosting the shelter this week through Monday. Those needing overnight shelter can arrive at the DAV at 7 o’clock each night for a safe, warm place to sleep and to enjoy a meal. The shelter stays open until 7 each morning.
According to Sweeney, the shelter has been handling approximately six to seven people per night.
“Special thanks must go out to the Salvation Army, Newington Baptist Church and the DAV for opening their doors to those who need shelter this winter,” Sweeney said. “Also, Mercy Chefs provided food and food logistics for the first two weeks the shelter was open.”
Sweeney encourages those churches that may be too small to serve as a host site to consider opening up their doors during the day so that people can get out of the cold.