Wake County Assists Community-Wide Effort to Shelter Homeless During Storm

Several locations to welcome homeless as Ian passes

With high winds and heavy rain forecasted for our area, the community-led Homeless Emergency Response Committee (HERC) has declared “White Flag” status – a designation that triggers partners to come together to provide additional emergency shelter for men, women, and children.

“No one should have to ride out a storm sleeping outside in the rain and possibly dangerous winds,” said Lorena McDowell, Director of Affordable Housing & Community Revitalization. “The community partners worked hard to fulfill their mission, organizing volunteers and food. They reached out to us to fill some gaps and we were happy to partner with them again.”

Wake County Government is pitching in and covering costs for staffing the emergency shelter and delivering nearly 150 kits with bedding, blankets and cots.

Shelter sites include:

In addition to these two overnight shelters, numerous existing shelter facilities in Raleigh, which regularly house homeless in the evening and overnight, will expand their hours so that no one is forced out into the storm during the day.

Two additional locations are providing space for people to get out of the weather until the overnight shelters open:

Oak City Cares will also be providing its regular services throughout the storm, connecting homeless with medical, mental health, substance abuse, and housing resources as well as providing weekend meals for people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

Given the current forecast, Wake County Emergency Management does not have plans at this time to open a shelter for the general public, but stands ready should weather or expected impacts increase in intensity. As of 10 a.m. Friday, the Wake County area is expected to get between 3-5 inches of rain, heaviest between 2 p.m. and midnight, with sustained winds of 30 mph and gusts expected between 45-55 mph. 

Press Release