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Rowan Helping Ministries saw slight uptick in overnight stays over snowy weekend

By Amanda Raymond

amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY – While the winter storm covered the county in snow, many homeless individuals and families found shelter at Rowan Helping Ministries’ Robertson-Stanback Center.

Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries, said the Robertson-Stanback Center, completed in 2014, allows the organization to provide shelter day and night, as well as classroom space for different programs. Grubb said there is space where people can watch television or read magazines, and there is also a space where people can spend their time more quietly.

There was a slight uptick in the number of people who stayed overnight during the snowy weekend. On Friday, 86 people stayed at the shelter, including 13 children. On Saturday, 84 people stayed at the shelter.

Grubb said the average number of people who stay at the shelter overnight is in the 80s. Numbers from earlier in the week were about 75, so the weekend did see an increase.

Some of that increase may be attributed to registered guests who returned to the shelter after spending the holidays with family or friends.

Grubb said there has been an increase in the number of families and children who have had to stay at the shelter over the years.

Rowan Helping Ministries also provides financial assistance to people who need help paying electric and other heating bills.

One thing the organization does need help with is volunteers who are willing to help during bad weather.

“Volunteers prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Grubb said, “and we are never closed.”

It also needs drivers to pick up supplies and always appreciates general donations Grubb said. Helping Ministries receives funding from the government and Duke Power and Piedmont Natural Gas, but donations from private entities allows the agency to provide more services, Grubb said.

Rowan Helping Ministries opened late Monday but will operate during its regular hours today, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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