Growing homeless population forces Asheville leaders to plan for cold winter nights


By web staff

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ASHEVILLE, NC (WLOS) – The Asheville Homeless Coalition met Wednesday afternoon to brainstorm ways to improve accessibility and awareness of shelters during the coldest nights in the region.

City leaders said there were more than 600 people without homes, including 232 who were homeless.

ABCCM’s director of homeless services, Tim McElyea, said one of the goals was to make sure people in need knew about the shelter’s options on Code Purple nights.

Code purple is called when the projected temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, or the equivalent with the wind chill factor.

“Our continuum of care has already started having these conversations and working to open up space and opportunities for people to come and shelter, McElyea said.

ABCCM has 50 beds available for men during Code Purple nights. McElyea said as the homeless population continues to grow, they are scrambling to find more space for those who want shelter.

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