But it stayed open a little longer then usual.
The busy winter season has ended at the Alan P. Linton Cold Weather Shelter in Frederick. The facility on Degrange Street stayed open a little longer than usual due to the cold weather that hung around through early spring. The shelter closed after Tuesday night, March 26th, according to Reverend Brian Scott, the Executive Director of the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, which operates the facility.
"Each year we have around 225 folks that are served at the Cold Weather Shelter. So we saw roughly about that same amount this year," he says.
But not everyone of those 225 people showed up every night at the Shelter, he continues. "We are continuing to see a few more women than we have before that trend continues, and a slight decrease in men. But it was a pretty rapid number of folks," Reverend Scott says.
However, there were plenty of beds to accommodate all of those who came to the Alan P. Linton Cold Weather Shelter seeking a warm place to sleep. He says the facility has 80 beds. "It's one of the largest, as far as the number of beds, in the Washington Metropolitan area. There are very few neighboring jurisdictions that have shelters that have more beds than that. So we really haven't had a problem with the number of beds for a while," says Scott.
If there comes a time when there's more people than beds, Reverend Scott says the Religious Coalitin has a an agreement with the Frederick Rescue Mission to take in some of the overflow.
That can also be a sign that a lot of people are seeking the help they need to break out of poverty and homelessness, he says. "What we should be doing is to get more people into housing so that a shelter is less needed then it was before. So that's one of our principal goals," says Reverend Scott.
The Alan P. Linton Shelter is preparing for the Exodus Project, which is a program run by the Religious Coalition to help people get out of poverty and homelessness, and get into decent housing and employment. It's expected to start up in April, and Reverend Scott says anyone whose 18 years of age, homeless and looking for work, can apply. There's also a need for volunteers. Scott says a training session is scheduled for April 17th.
For more information, call the Religious Coalition at 301-631-2670, or go on line to www.thereligiouscoalition.org.