No one turned away at local shelters on ‘white flag’ nights

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The recent cold snap isn’t that big of a deal for many people, but it certainly is for those who don’t have a safe, warm place to go.

If you were outside at all on Wednesday night, you would know it felt more like January than March. Winter has quickly come back with a vengeance and that means Wednesday night was a “white flag” night at local shelters. A white flag night means that no one will be turned away.

“It’s extreme cold weather, so rather than risk a chance at frostbite I come inside the shelter,” said Greg Stevens, of Raleigh.

The South Wilmington Street Center has mats to accommodate those in need. On Tuesday night they had about 60 of them.

“It means to me I have… it means to me that someone cares,” Raleigh man Victor Bragg, who also stayed at the South Wilmington Street Center.

The cold weather is something that people, especially those who are most vulnerable, need to take seriously.

“The temperatures get that low for that period of time, hours – it can definitely be result in fatalities in some cases,” said Frank Lawrence, South Wilmington Street Center’s manager.

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For some, braving the cold was a little bit different – it was about ensuring they got their first practice of the season in.

“We got a few text messages about maybe moving it. But you can see some other teams [are] supposed to be out practicing today. But they’ll be sorry when we play them because the dedication will pay off,” said Robby Lawson, captain of the Sir Walter Raleigh Kickball team.

The kickball team got a lot of practice in on Wednesday while dressed for the weather.

“Straps around my feet. I have basically knee high socks. I have compression pants, a T-shirt on, some compression arm sleeves and some wool half-arm sleeves, along with my hat,” said
Austin Brown, a player on the kickball team.

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