Overflow shelter opened for homeless during winter storm

Homeless shelters in Charlotte are bursting at the seams, and because of the increased need, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management opened an overflow shelter at the Grady Cole center. 

"This shelter will be operational again for as long as we feel is necessary to meet those needs,” an emergency management spokesperson said. 

Men, women, children and even furry friends are welcome, and the center will be open 24 hours a day.

"Animal Care and Control is available at this shelter site. So, if anybody is trying to bring their animals with them we have accommodations for that as well." 

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There are 225 beds at the shelter, but organizers say they have backup plans as well. 

"If we do reach that capacity we have plans in place so we can ensure that everybody has a place to stay. We will not be turning people away." 

The line stretched out of the building before the shelter opened at 3:00 Saturday afternoon. A county spokesperson says they worked with local organizations to get the word out and pass out flyers.

"Urban Ministries has an outreach team that goes out into the community, knows the homeless population well and are making sure to communicate that this shelter is available and is an option for them throughout the duration of its opening,” 

FOX 46 is told they're also working with CATS to provide transportation to the shelter. The county says they aren't leaving anyone out in the cold.