Norfolk, Va. (WVEC) -- The recent blast of below freezing temperatures are miserable for some, but it can be dangerous for those living on the street.
Anne Odell is the Chair of NEST, Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team. The volunteer-based team is made up of nearly 40 churches that give hot meals and overnight shelter to the area’s homeless.
“NEST originated about 20 years ago. The homeless folks really don’t have a place to go and you can tell there are a lot of them if we are getting over a hundred a night,” said Odell.
Since beginning the service for the winter season at the end November Odell said people from all walks of life have sought shelter at one of their participating churches or synagogues.
“We are just taking men and women and we have all age ranges twenties all the way up until seventies. Some folks aren’t experiencing the temperature like we might. It maybe they’re on some medications it may be some drugs. Some are coming out of the hospital and are delivered directly to NEST,” said Odell.
In the blistery cold and dangerous temperatures Odell said it’s even more important for the homeless to have a place to go. They need the communities help with more volunteers, warm clothing items and new host sites to help serve those in need.
“They need hats, they need scarves, gloves and socks, new socks. That’s keeping them warm. We really need three churches some of the nights because some of the weeks we are getting up into such high numbers,” said Odell.
If you’d like to assist NEST with their overnight emergency shelter or donate items, you can reach a representative at (757) 823-1622.
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