Welcome House residents ‘very appreciate’ to have a place to call home during frigid temps

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The wintry weather we’ve been experiencing can be detrimental for many, particularly those experiencing homelessness.

Welcome House shelter serving the Bismarck-Mandan area is what residents call home — and they consider each other family while they work to build a brighter start in life.

“It’s scary, especially since last week when it was negative. This weekend it was a negative windchill and that’s dangerous for you to be outside in those elements,” said Welcome House Executive Director Vincent McCloud.

Up to five families with no place to call home are staying warm this winter, setting up camp inside the Welcome House.

“We’re very appreciative. I’ve got a little guy who’s six years old and goes to school and he’s happy to be able to come home and eat cookies after school and have someplace warm to go and play with friends,” said resident Cheryl Gorden.

Families have 90 days to live at the shelter, but it can be prolonged if needed.

“If we didn’t have anywhere to go, we probably would be sleeping in a car and there’s a good chance she wouldn’t make it and I wouldn’t also,” said resident Samantha Morrell.

The home offers meals in addition to addiction recovery, behavior health and other services clients may need.

Delbirt Herd was once a client of Welcome House and is now a caseworker with the nonprofit. He says the potential to start a new life is there.

“There is a familiarity with what our clients are going through and what I’ve been through. I know you can do it, anybody can do it. You just have to have that mindset,” said Herd.

Welcome House helps about 30 families a year and operates off of donations from the community.

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