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Homeless shelter may stop admissions

One of Charlotte's largest homeless shelters said today it may halt new admissions to cope with crowding.

The Salvation Army homeless shelter for women and children near uptown will “slow down admissions” later this month, said Deronda Metz, director of social services for the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte.

The 200-bed facility is nearly always filled to capacity. But on Sept. 1, Charlotte's Emergency Winter Shelter will close its doors to about 70 homeless women.

Salvation Army administrators have rented out the Winter Shelter since July 2 because of crowding. When that building re-opens later this year, the beds are reserved for homeless men.

Metz said officials are trying to reserve space for the women in the shelter, where they may set up beds in a television room. They also plan to send some to a 50-bed church shelter, she said.

Each Spring and fall, the homeless encounter the same situation. Temporary and seasonal shelters close and year-round shelters can't keep up with demand.

Social workers estimate that 5,000 people are homeless in Mecklenburg County on a given night, but there are less 2,000 shelter beds.

When the Winter Shelter closed to women last year, a group of churches volunteered allowed the women to sleep in their buildings. But the Salvation Army decided it does not have the staffing to manage the effort.