Cold temps prompt 'white flag nights' at local shelters
Posted November 24, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Just before dusk Sunday, a worker at the Salvation Army of Wake County made sure a white flag was prominent out front if the Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope on Capital Boulevard.
At area shelters, the flag is a sign of one thing, says Paige Bagwell, the nonprofit's director of operations and communications.
"It's cold, and families are cold," she said.
With temperatures forecast to drop to the mid- to upper teens Sunday night and Monday morning, area shelters put out white flags letting people know that they will do what they can to go beyond capacity.
The Salvation Army has a capacity of 92 beds. The problem, Bagwell says, is that there are 243 families on the waiting list to stay there.
On white flag nights, shelter workers do what they can to make some extra space by adding extra cots.
Those in need of a warm bed, like Sherry who was staying at the center Sunday night, are appreciative.
"It's cold outside," said Sherry, who did not want to be identified by her real name. "I ran out of income, so I couldn't get enough money for a hotel where we've been staying."