City's revamped winter shelter to open Saturday - - Columbia, South Carolina |

City's revamped winter shelter to open Saturday

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The city's revamped winter shelter will open Saturday despite the scrutiny.

The plan has been controversial, not only around the Midlands but even nationally. Reports have characterized the city's actions as amounting to rounding up the homeless and forcing them into the shelter.

Christ Central Ministries Reverend Jimmy Jones says they are trying to make the shelter an inviting and rewarding alternative to life on the streets.  

"They would never have to be reduced to go to the streets," Jones said. "So it is a win for both the person in need and the city because not they never have to be reduced [to living] on the streets."

The organization supervises nearly a hundred facilities statewide, and all are aimed at providing those who are homeless with much more than just a place to stay overnight.  

Those staying in the shelter will have seven days to take advantage of three meals a day and other amenities, but the goal is to begin directing them to other service providers and long term solutions.

The shelter will remain open 24/7 through May.

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