Sumter winter shelter open, has space for people without power

Guests allowed in 7 p.m.-7 a.m., provided food


Sumter United Ministries’ winter shelter opened for the first time two years ago mainly to accommodate the homeless during cold nights, but those without power from Sunday’s storm may benefit from it, too.

The shelter is located at 215 N. Magnolia St. near downtown Sumter and is open 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. when the forecast predicts temperatures will dip below 40 degrees, or 45 degrees when it is wet and rainy. It does not have to actually drop below 40 for the shelter to be open. It is based on the forecast.

Guest are provided warm winter items and a hot dinner.

Daphney Scarborough, shelter director, said only nine people stayed overnight Saturday. They had been hosting between 15-20 people before a two-week heat wave hit Sumter during Christmas. When they opened back up, they’ve been seeing about half that number.

She told The Sumter Item on Sunday afternoon that there is room at the shelter for people whose power is out. They can host up to 30 people.

Law enforcement provides security, and staff and volunteers are also on hand.

Guests must leave by 7 a.m. and are provided breakfast.