“Iceageddon” or Business As Usual?
Wow, it’s been cold, really cold! For a while there I was hopeful that Charlotte would be spared this year. Wishful thinking. I received my first phone call on Sunday morning from a reporter asking what the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte (MSC) was doing to prepare for the coming winter storm. I’m pretty sure I disappointed that reporter when I said for MSC it was “business as usual.” This is not a glib or flippant response. It’s really part of what we do. One component of MSC is our severe weather overflow. We’re prepared year round to open our doors to more men anytime the weather is potentially life-threatening. In fact, since our fiscal year started on July 1, 2014, MSC has declared over 100 days as severe weather overflow events! On these days we’ve served from 1 to 134 additional men. To put that into perspective, with last night’s lingering ice and severe cold temperatures, MSC served an additional 95 men. So, while the rest of the world is panicking over severe winter weather, MSC is carrying on like normal. Well, not actually like normal. Yesterday, to keep everyone’s spirits up, our shelter director Pam Neal held an impromptu talent show with men telling jokes, singing, and dancing. Still, much closer to “business as usual” than “iceageddon” at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte this week!