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Shelter adds capacity to get people out of the cold

By Jon Erickson
Published On: Jan 06 2014 05:18:09 PM CST
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

A New Bern homeless shelter is adding capacity in order to help more people get out of the cold.

The Religious Community Services shelter, 919 George St., will use cots to house as many people as possible.

Temperatures are set to dip overnight Monday into Tuesday, with wind chills forecast to be in the single digits.

"It's a health hazard, we believe, to have people sleeping outside or in an abandoned building... without any cover or heat," said Michael McMillan, executive director of RCS.

Todd Decamp, who is homeless and has been living outside, chose to come to RCS Monday.

"You could freeze to death" in the cold, Decamp said.

He said he is happy to have a cot in the warm RCS building.

"It's awesome," Decamp said.

Anyone interested in a bed should first report to the New Bern Police Department.

Officers check to make sure no one with an outstanding arrest warrant or a sex offender is allowed to stay at the shelter.

The building has a usual capacity of 20, but allows anyone who needs shelter to sleep on a cot when temperatures dip below freezing.