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Orange Homeless Shelter Closing - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Orange Homeless Shelter Closing

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After 11 years of helping the homeless get back on their feet, Orange's Sheltering Arms Homeless Shelter is losing its home. The shelter is closing its doors for good next month. Both the shelter and Orange County are working together to relocate 25 residents.

The shelter has been fighting this for a long time but they say a loss in funding is finally forcing the doors shut.

Ed Childress, the executive director of Sheltering Arms stated, "We just hate to have to close down, but there really is no other choice."

Childress says this has been a long struggle, but new ways to house the homeless is putting many shelters in the same boat. This new concept is called Housing First.

Childress said, "A family calls up an agency and says we're about to become homeless or we are homeless, and Housing First means that we would put that family or that person into a private rental situation."

Orange County supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to keep the doors open for at least another month while they try to find homes for those affected.

But for the shelter to continue operating, Childress says it would take something close to a miracle.

Childress said, "I think to do the job right here we would need another $50,000 to $70,000 to keep us running for an additional year. And that's on top of all of the donations we receive. It's just too little, too late."

The shelter has also been actively involved in helping former inmates reacclimate into society. Now, with such an important resource gone, Childress says he doesn't know what will fill the void.

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