New peer center provides critical services for area homeless in need

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Several Kanawha County agencies have partnered to create new peer center for individuals who are homeless in Charleston.

The new center opened on Wednesday. It was made possible thanks to a collaboration between the Kanawha Valley Collective, United Way, Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center and Cabin Creek Health Systems.

“We have a pandemic that they say hygiene is crucial so we have to be able to have a center like this were people can come and take care of their basic needs,” explained Traci Strickland with Kanawha Valley Collective.

The center includes restrooms, a shower, and a washer and dryer. People can also be able to be screened for COVID-19 by Cabin Creek Health Systems.

“Whenever we are telling people to monitor their temperature or monitor your systems, this population may not get all of the information or maybe they can’t go to their medicine cabinet and get a thermometer,”said Jake Van Horn, special projects director with Cabin Creek Health System.

The center will be open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., but hours can be adjusted based on usage and need.

“It begins the process of building a relationship and engaging individuals who may feel like they have nowhere to turn in the midst of crisis that already causes anxiety,”added John Thompson with Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center.

As with current social distancing guidelines, the number of people allowed in the building at one time will be limited.

But the center and agencies like Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center and the Kanawha Valley Collective are still in need of donations and supplies including face masks, towels, blankets, pillow cases, and wash clothes for their clients and staff. 

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