Homeless shelters offering more beds as mercury drops

As weather in the valley cools, local shelters are providing extra beds to give more homeless men, women and children a warm place to sleep at night.

Starting tonight the Salvation Army will open 142 free emergency shelter beds, 100 for men and 42 for women, at its downtown campus, 35 W. Owens Ave. near Main Street. Those interested should arrive at the shelter by 5 p.m. each day.

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada’s free winter shelter for men opens Monday. The winter shelter adds 200 emergency shelter beds to the agency’s regular stock of 200, for a total of 400 beds. Men who need a bed should arrive at the campus at 1511 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near Owens, by 6 p.m.

If severe cold weather hits, the agency won’t turn anyone away even if the beds are full, said Phillip Hollon, residential services director at Catholic Charities.

“We’ll put them on the floor, in classrooms or hallways,” he said. “With freezing temperatures, we don’t want anybody out on the street.”

The Shade Tree shelter, at the corner of Owens and Main, is adding 30 free winter beds to its regular stock of 200 for women and children. The extra beds should be available by Dec. 1, said Marlene Richter, the shelter’s executive director.

Women who need shelter can show up anytime at Shade Tree, she said.

“Our hope is that if they’re coming in for weather shelter, they’ll be interested in staying for lunch, or classes, or going into our transitional program to get back on their feet,” Richter said.

The Las Vegas Rescue Mission, 480 W. Bonanza Road near E Street, also might be adding beds for winter, but information wasn’t available on Friday.

The extra beds at each location will be available each night through the end of March.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis or 702-383-0285.

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