County, community partners collaborate to open new emergency drop-in shelter

Will be open every night from tonight through March 2024

This winter season those seeking a warm, safe place to sleep in Wake County will now be able to drop into a shelter seven days a week, no matter the temperature.

Thanks to funding from Wake County and the City of Raleigh, the new Bryant Center will open its doors in downtown Raleigh tonight, Nov. 1. Under the management of Metropolitan Community Church, the center at 401 W. Cabarrus St. will stay open every night through the end of March 2024 for those in need of a roof over their heads.

"Our investment in the Bryant Center demonstrates the county’s commitment to ensuring that no one has to sleep outside during the coldest months of the year,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Shinica Thomas. “By collaborating with our partners, we’re removing barriers to finding safe shelter and providing life-changing support to those who need it most.”

The 150-bed center features a staff primarily made up of people with lived experiences of homelessness, ensuring peer support and compassionate care for those seeking assistance.

The shelter has no program requirements and allows anyone to access the overnight shelter exactly as they are, providing a safe and warm refuge. The facility will operate exclusively as an overnight shelter, opening at 7 p.m. each night and closing at 8 a.m. each morning. Wake County continues to provide support for daytime accommodations through Oak City Cares. Families in need of resources can also find shelter assistance through the Salvation Army.

"We know lives are at risk when people have nowhere to go in the winter months,” said Pastor Vance Haywood. “We've witnessed our shelters operating at full capacity, and people waiting for months to secure a spot. We’re acutely aware of the need for more shelter beds, and the opening of the Bryant Center marks a significant step forward to meeting the demand."

Looking ahead, Wake County is actively working to establish a permanent drop-in facility within county limits, offering this essential service all year round to respond to the urgent need in the community.

Last year, Wake County and its dedicated community partners successfully served 339 people during “White Flag” weather events, with an average of 185 beds filled each night across various community sites. The program remains instrumental in providing short-term emergency shelter to people currently experiencing homelessness, particularly during the most extreme weather conditions.

Press Release