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Cold weather shelter takes root in Williston

The Williston, N.D., Salvation Army formed an overnight shelter called Project Heat in response to sub-zero temperatures.

The Salvation Army leased a modular home from a local housing company to provide overnight shelter for up to 10 homeless men. The program will operate daily from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the end of March.

“Project Heat is important to this community,” said Captain Joshua Stansbury, Williston Salvation Army administrator. “There have been reports of frostbite and other conditions that people have suffered from being forced to sleep outside. This program is a great example of how we use donations to create positive change in the community.”

The modular home is located in what is often called a “man camp” – entire communities of temporary housing set up to accommodate the exploding number of Bakken oilfield workers in town. The home will be available most nights, but when it isn’t, the Williston Salvation Army and New Hope Church will take turns hosting the safe house inside their own facilities.

Stansbury“This is not a permanent shelter or housing program – it’s a transitional program to give people a chance to get established without having to worry about whether they’ll make it through the night,” said Stansbury, adding that guests can stay up to two weeks. “We realize there are more than 10 homeless people in Williston––but that’s 10 fewer people who will have to sleep outside when it’s below zero.

“We are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.”

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To volunteer for Project Heat, call New Hope Wesleyan Church at 701-572-4673. You can donate to Project Heat online or by mailing a check to the Williston Salvation Army, P.O. Box 420, Williston, ND 58802.

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