PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Some of Petersburg’s homeless population may have to battle the elements this coming winter, as one of the city’s homeless shelters is closing its doors.
Starting at the end of this year, the Salvation Army Men’s Shelter will close its doors due to a lack of funding.
Aaron Thomas went to the shelter and discovered that about 20 men are currently staying in the shelter. When full, the shelter holds up to 26 men.
With the weather expected to take a turn for the worst, the decision has left some people worried for the health and safety of those who rely on the shelter.
8News spoke with Salvation Army commander Donald Dohmann who said the shelter has been operating at a deficit for years. Dohmann had trouble making the decision to close the shelter but said it all comes down to expenses for utilities and employees outweighing the amount of money coming into the shelter.
The men’s shelter is currently operating at a $198,000 deficit. Salvation Army staff says its a trend happening all over the country.
The Salvation Army, along with Petersburg officials, are looking for ways to accommodate the men who depend on this resource.
“We have got to do a better job of working with these individuals and trying our best and giving them tools and resources and link them up with other community agencies and partners to break the cycle of poverty,” Capt. Donald Dohmann said.
The Salvation Army in Richmond plans to step in, providing emergency help for the men who usually depend on the Petersburg shelter.
The area commander says they want to provide transportation for anyone who may have trouble getting from one shelter to the other.