(Baltimore, MD.) The polar vortex of the arctic air continues to move from the Midwest to the East Coast bringing life-threatening weather conditions to our city. At Catholic Charities, our staff who manage the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, Baltimore’s shelter, are implementing the following steps to ensure that all people experiencing homelessness can come in from the cold.  

Increasing the number of people served – Normally, the shelter accommodates 275 guests a night; but, during winter weather warnings the capacity increases to 335 guests.

Offering transportation to the overflow shelters  – Of course, there are more than 335 people that are in need of shelter during winter shelter warnings. For those who cannot be served at WHRC, Catholic Charities coordinates buses to transport “overflow guests” from WHRC to the following shelters:
Bridgehaven – Serves men and women
Volunteers of America – Serves only men
Pinderhughes – Serves men and women
McVets – Serves men and women
Sarah’s Hope – Family Shelter

Increasing the # of hours guests can be received and transported to overflow shelters – Normally, overflow guests are transported to other shelters between the hours of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. but during the winter shelter warnings the hours increase and guests can be transported and received at overflow shelters from 4 p.m. – 10:15 p.

Declaring shelter in place –During winter shelter conditions (when temperatures fall below 32 degrees) guests are allowed to stay within the building all day. Overflow guests are welcome to sit in the male or female day rooms. For guests already enrolled at Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, they are allowed to return to the dorm, after breakfast and cleaning crews have cared for their floor. Normally, guests are not allowed to be in their dorms during the day.

The Weinberg Housing and Resource Center has been operated by Catholic Charities since 2006. It is located on the Fallsway across from Our Daily Bread Employment Center. The shelter cares for 175 men; 75 women and 25 individuals who are in convalescent care and supported through Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH).