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As a result of the power loss, the emergency shelter in Little Rock has moved



Little Rock, Arkansas – This week, much of the state is expected to be affected by the persistently cold weather. One nonprofit in Little Rock is doing what it can to make sure that the city’s homeless population is protected from the bitter cold.

According to Aaron Reddin, the founder of The Van, it is not unusual for them to open up their emergency shelter on many occasions throughout the winter season. Due to a problem with the electricity, he claimed that they had to move their meeting on Monday from the spot on East Sixth Street to the Dunbar Community Center.

“The power was out on Monday when we opened at sixth street so we weren’t able to use that one. That’s what landed us here at Dunbar this time,” Reddin said.

Reddin reported that there were 110 individuals inside the gym at the Dunbar Community Center on Tuesday night, which is an increase over the 60 people who attended the event two months earlier at the other venue. Additionally, he stated that a pipe did indeed burst in December.

“It’s stressful definitely. You know you gotta trust the facility and hope that it holds you know so, at least this time the temperatures are hovering around freezing,” he said. “We’re not seeing three or seven degrees.”

Kimberly Wiley reported that earlier this week, she was given information regarding the emergency shelter. She expressed her gratitude for the efforts that The Van puts forward on behalf of the homeless community.

“We hope that the following year that the state of Arkansas with the governor, with the mayor, with the senators we all can make a solution for their not to be so many homeless people next year,” Wiley said.

Wiley has high expectations that emergency shelters like The Van would open up a much larger conversation about how to effectively handle homelessness.

“It’s really easy for us to show compassion and understanding because they never been in our shoes before, but they understand where we are,” she said.

Reddin stated that they notice an increase of twenty percent for every day that their shelter is open. He stated that they will maintain their normal operating hours on Wednesday but will explore the possibility of extending shelter hours on Thursday.

The office of emergency management for the city of Little Rock stated that the shelter will remain open until Thursday AM.