Lynchburg Area Shelters Open Doors For Those Trying To Flee Frig - - ABC13

Lynchburg Area Shelters Open Doors For Those Trying To Flee Frigid Cold


Lynchburg, VA - Throughout the heart of Virginia, folks seek safety from the brutal cold; churches, and other organizations stepping up to help.

Lynchburg's Salvation Army shelter is at capacity with more than 80 permanent residents. So Monday night, the cots came out to take in those who would otherwise be sleeping outside.

The shelter is home for so many, as temperatures continue to tumble.

"I couldn't imagine for someone to have to weather the elements, not in this cold" said Captain Donald Dohmann, the commanding officer at Lynchburg's Salvation Army.

So the Salvation Army transforms; its cafeteria becoming a warm bay of beds.

Dohmann says his shelter is at capacity, the cots are an added boost to benefit those who find themselves fighting the frigid cold.

"Obviously we house men women and children 365 days a year, and so we're very gracious for the churches that open their doors" he said.

"I feel real great because I don't have to be out here in the cold" said Darnell Wade.

With the Salvation Army at capacity, Wade is among a group being taken to the Blue Ridge Community Church.

"If I was not going with them, I would probably be outside in the cold" said Wade.

Wade and others are loaded into church vans, and taken to the church, which transformed their sanctuary into a shelter.

"We've just been setting up beds each day to prepare for whatever is going to come our way" said Joe Byron, a church volunteer.

Byron explained with temperatures well below freezing these Christians couldn't have folks freezing out in the cold.

"We just continued to just put it back out to the volunteers and say hey, this is the need and it was just like within minutes we'd have something" he said.

Nearly 20 people here will be provided with three hot meals, this bag of toiletries, and a warm bed to sleep on.

"One of the guys said it was like the Ritz Carlton, we're trying to make them feel as important as we can while they're here" he said.

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