Read the original article by by Meghan Parsons and Spectrum News Staff at Spectrum News 1
WORCESTER, Mass. - A new temporary homeless shelter is set to open in at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Worcester before Christmas.
The shelter will be a 24/7 operation and can fit up to 60 people. This shelter is replacing Hotel Grace, which closed because it couldn't find a new location to open this season.
Open Sky Community Services, a human services nonprofit, will be running the operations. CEO Ken Bates said while there are others shelters across Worcester, this spot will serve as a overflow space to help keep people alive this winter.
"The numbers are increasing and of course, with the anticipated cold weather, this is really an opportunity for us to try and make an impact and save peoples lives," Bates said. "We will bring comprehensive medical care, substance use and mental health treatment, and as importantly, services to help people find housing and try and get people in their own safe place."
The city asked 12 other churches if they could serve as a shelter, but Blessed Sacrament was the only one able to make the space. The shelter will open December 19 and will stay open through the end of March.
Worcester's commissioner of health and human services Dr. Mattie Castiel said it can't come soon enough now that the cold weather is here.
"I have full confidence that Open Sky will be able to do the right thing and provide the services people need," Castiel said. "We are working with Road to Care Van, which will provide medical care, Spectrum Health, which will provide medical and addiction care. We will have people on board to work with people. It will be a great place for them to get out of the cold and for us to work with them to get them into housing."