Thursday, December 19th 2019

(The United Way of East Central Alabama is working with other Calhoun County community groups to open a new emergency shelter in the area.)

ANNISTON, Ala. — There are no emergency shelters for the homeless in Calhoun County.

Community groups are determined to change that.

Recently, the United Way of East Central Alabama was awarded $300,000.

The grant money was awarded through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

The money will be used to open a new shelter in Anniston.

The United Way is working with The Right Place and Interfaith Ministries of Calhoun County on the project.

Thursday, representatives from the three groups met with Anniston Mayor Jack Draper at the Anniston City Hall.

They discussed the best way to open a new shelter to serve the needs of the area.

The Salvation Army in Anniston closed the shelter in February.

With no shelter, the homeless population had no options.

“They have literally been sleeping in abandoned houses, just kind of in the nooks and crannies,” Shannon Jenkins, President & CEO of United Way of East Central Alabama said, “where they can find a place to sleep. Thankfully, the city does open a warming shelter when it does fall below freezing so they do have somewhere to go on the coldest nights.”

The plan is to find an existing building in Anniston to transform into a shelter.

Jenkins says the group is hopeful to begin working on a new space as early as February of 2020.

The group announced receiving the funds on Facebook.