Community Re-issues Call for Volunteers to Keep Shelters Open

With bitter cold and chilling winds expected to make outdoor conditions extremely dangerous, the Wake Continuum of Care is working to extend its shelter hours and they’re calling for more volunteers to help keep the centers open for vulnerable residents.

The Continuum of Care is made up of 50+ public, private, and non-profit organizations working together as a community to ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time. When temperatures drop below 35 degrees, the Homeless Emergency Response Committee (HERC) coordinates opening temporary shelters under a “White Flag.”

“No one can risk staying outside during these conditions – it’s just not safe without a reliable heat source,” said Shinica Thomas, chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners. “We know many people have family obligations during the holiday, but we’re asking if the community can give a few hours of their time to help those who do not have family or a warm place to be this Christmas weekend.”

St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church has taken the lead on coordinating volunteer recruitment efforts. If you can assist for any amount of time today through Tuesday night, please sign up on St. John’s shelter/volunteer webpage.  

  • Volunteer Shelter Support: Shelter support volunteers help with projects such as food preparation, supply sorting/packaging, set-up and breakdown. This work typically occurs outside of the shelters’ operational hours.
  • On-site Shelter Staff: These volunteers work during the shelters’ operational hours and attend to shelter residents’ needs.
  • Donations: Running a shelter requires a lot of resources. St. John’s MCC has created an Amazon Charity Needs List to help secure much-needed items.


White Flag Shelter Locations
Due to the current state of emergency, shelter sites are being constantly updated to increase bed capacity for the White Flag shelter system. Please be sure to check this website for the most current information:

Since public bus transit is unavailable during the holiday, transportation is being coordinated by the various churches through Christmas Day.

Those who need shelter from the cold are welcome at these locations and can call the Shelter Communications Center at 919-834-2611 with questions any time from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Press Release