Emergency Shelter at Moorhead’s National Guard Armory Needs Volunteers

Dozens of people in need were in danger on Christmas Eve and needed a roof over their heads

MOORHEAD, Minn. — With dangerous cold temps settling in, Governor Dayton approved expansion of emergency shelter space at the National Guard armory in Moorhead.

Churches United is looking for volunteers.

Dozens of people in need were in danger on Christmas Eve and needed a roof over their heads.

“It’s life or death if they don’t have a place to stay,” said Minnesota National Guard Capt. Derek Thorstenson.

Governor Dayton’s opening of the armory has Churches United putting out an emergency call for volunteers.

“Right now, it’s super cold outside so we just need as much help as we can to help comfort the people that are going over to the armory,” said Churches United Volunteer Coordinator, Brady McLaughlin.

Without enough volunteers, members of the National Guard have stepped up.

“We all complain about how cold it is but until you see how it directly affects somebody’s life who doesn’t have that basic shelter need, it doesn’t really hit home,” Thorstenson said.

Over the last few nights, the Moorhead armory has been home to about 15 to 20 people and if you can see around the room, each person has been given fresh linens, sheets, and towels but also a bed to place their head.

But this place will only be home until January 3rd.

What will happen to people then?

“The community as a whole is currently looking for a more permanent space,” Thorstenson said.

“We hope by late today or sometime tomorrow, to have that space identified,” said Churches United’s Executive Director, Sue Koesterman. “We can move overflow operations seamlessly from the armory to whatever space that is.”

If you are unable to volunteer your time, staff at Churches United say there are other ways to help.

“Winter coats, some blankets, and if that’s not possible, we always accept monetary donations that help cover the costs of doing an overflow program like this,” McLaughlin said.

They say every donation can make a difference.

If you are interested in volunteering, details can be found by clicking here.

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