Relief on the way for crowded homeless shelters

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A new program is providing some relief for a Charlotte homeless shelter experiencing extreme overcrowding.

Leaders at the Salvation Army's Center of Hope told Eyewitness News that they've had up to 50 homeless people sleeping on the floors for the past week with no cots.

"It becomes a question of 'So we're out of mats, do I let that person stay out in the cold ... or do I let that person in?'" said Deronda Metz, social services director for the
Salvation Army.

This week Urban Ministries' Room in the Inn program started. It provides temporary housing for the homeless at local churches and universities from now through the spring.

Metz said the program has provided some short-term relief to their overcrowding. However, she said, Homeless Advocates are looking at ways to streamline dollars through the government to provide more long-term housing.

"Looking at the dollars we currently have, how can we use those more efficiently?" she said.

Metz also said the Salvation Army Center of Hope is looking into the possibility of remodeling and adding more space and beds.