BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — After a long fight, the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way is open 24 hours every day.
KX News visited the shelter on Wednesday to get an update on how things are going, in the wake of the current winter storm.
We have covered a number of stories at the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way, as their goal, each time was to see their doors open 24/7 again to serve those in need after having to cut hours this past summer.
Although they’ve been plagued with a lack of resources, funds, and staffing those problems no longer exist.
“It was very hard for folks, especially the homeless that have disabilities, and even walking half a mile is impossible so we raised the funds to re-open our doors,” said Executive Director, Jena Gullo.
“I passed out in the snow for about 45 minutes and I got frostbite. I’m probably gonna lose my fingers. I come here for warmth and so I can heal up. I woke up crying and so I went to the hospital,” homeless man, Daniel Monsaco said.
“I spent five months sleeping outside so that was an adventure. I definitely can get more sleep having a roof over my head. I didn’t really sleep at all for five months, just an hour here, an hour there, so having a roof over your head really, how can we get anywhere in life? How can we work a job if we can’t get sleep?” said homeless woman Nicole Wilkerson.
Not only is United Way providing shelter, but they are also assisting with the sign-up for food stamps, and ND rent help. Gullo says they are expanding their services during this dire time of need.
“People can’t walk out in these elements and so we are providing food at our shelter now just so that people don’t have to go outside, we’re providing winter coats and hats and gloves,” said Gullo.
One woman shared with us that she wishes she could get a home and some presents this holiday season.
And even though these individuals are without a home of their own, they still manage to keep their heads up.
Nicole keeps a smile on her face as she encourages others, and has even thought of some ideas to help the shelter.
“If job services or anyone that’s involved in outreach, that can come by and help people get employed because that would make a big difference as well,” said Nicole.
Gullo says the main need right now is more gloves and boots for all.
Currently, Missouri Slope Areawide United Way is open to all during the day, but for an overnight stay, there is a no substance use policy.
The Ministry on the Margins opens its doors after 6 p.m. to those who are using alcohol and other substances, as well as those who are sober.
If you wish to donate to United Way to help keep their doors open 24 hours a day each day, visit their website.