by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - For the first time, Gwinnett County has an emergency shelter for homeless women and children.
Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh toured the shelter, and employees at the shelter said it's only scratching the surface of the need in Gwinnett.
Hope, Strength and Grace are the names of the rooms at the Salt Light Center. They're meant to uplift the homeless women and children arrive at their lowest.
"There's never been a place where if someone needs immediate shelter that they can come," shelter director Carol Karpf said.
Karpf said the emergency cold weather shelter is beginning to fill a huge void in Gwinnett County.
"There's more foreclosures and evictions. This acts a place where someone can come for a day or two, and really decompress and figure what they're next step is," Karpf said.
Families are referred to the shelter, so they asked Channel 2 Action News not to reveal the location.
Beds are guaranteed for one night. There's room for 12 and everyone gets a cot and a welcome bag.
Karpf said homeless women and children have the greatest need and are the most at risk.
"The numbers are pretty staggering. The Gwinnett Coalition estimates there are 6,000 homeless kids here in Gwinnett County. The average age of those children is 6."
That doesn't include the hundreds of children living in area motels.
"It could be anybody ...It could be us," volunteer Mitzi Fountain said.
Volunteers keep this place running. Everything you see is donated.
Since families are always coming in and out of the shelter, there's always a need for new donations.
The shelter said there is a big need for toiletries, blankets and clean towels.
If you would like to volunteer at the shelter you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete list of items the shelter needs, click here.