A Mount Pleasant church will opens its cold shelter this week as low temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
The Hibben UMC Emergency Cold Shelter will be open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the shelter's co-director, Al Bradshaw-Whittemore.
The doors will open each day at approximately 7:30 p.m. and the guests must leave by 7 a.m. the next morning.
No guests will be accepted after 11 p.m. unless brought by Mount Pleasant police, other agencies, or because of special circumstances and advance arrangements have been made.
A Hibben bus will pick up guests in Downtown Charleston starting at 6:55 p.m. at Huger Street across from Taco Boy. It will then proceed to Trident Tech on Columbus Street, Main Library on Calhoun Street, Marion Square at King Street, and then the Museum on Meeting Street before returning to Hibben UMC about 8 p.m. Guests will be returned to the Downtown area the next morning.
Guests will be offered a safe, warm place to sleep overnight plus an evening meal and breakfast.
Showers are available with towels, soap, and shampoo furnished.
The shelter has been open for six days during this 2015-16 cold season and had an average of 46 guests per night for a total of 275 overnight guests.
Last year, the cold shelter had been open 12 days as of this date but only an average of 30 guests per night.
Bradshaw-Whittemore believes the increase per night can be attributed to the increase in the size of the Charleston tent city.
The shelter is located at 690 Coleman Blvd.
The shelter may open additional nights this week if the forecast changes, Bradshaw-Whittemore said.