ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Dozens of people are in the Renew Our Community building in downtown Rock Hill talking or looking at a television or just spending time talking. Most of all, many of the people, many of whom are homeless, are also staying warm.
"I stay at the Salvation Army at night, but if I get off work after nine o'clock at night, we can't come in unless we police escorted," Cathi Borghesi-Cousar said.
Borghesi-Cousar has been homeless for only two months, but said it feels like it’s been two years.
With an Arctic blast on the way and thousands of homeless living in the Charlotte region, places like the ROC center are on high alert trying to do more than feed or clothe the homeless; they are trying to keep them alive.
"We really are concerned about that population that usually doesn't come to a shelter," said Iris Smalls- Hubbard of the ROC, "We know that there are tremendous [people] who sleep in the woods. They sleep in abandoned buildings." she said
Warming centers in York County have announced that they will be open early for those who are in need of a place to stay. The hard part is trying to convince those who are without a home to come in.
But Reverend Vernell McCullough said this is the most important time to try to urge people on the streets to come in from the cold.
"It’s very important with temps below eight degrees. It’s very important a human life is more important than anything else," she said.
Several other shelters are open to those in need during the cold temperatures including:
Red Cross Center in Mecklenburg County:
618 N. College Street
Open until noon Tuesday
Alexander County: Anyone who needs shelter is advised to call the sheriff’s office at 828-632-1107
Iredell County’s Fifth Street Shelter:
1421 Fifth Street in Statesville
Anyone requiring transportation can call 704-878-3039
Men’s Shelter of Charlotte:
1210 N Tryon St, Charlotte
Lancaster County Shelter: Call Public Safety Communication at (803) 283-4136 for directions to the shelter