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Cookeville Council Allocates $5,000 To Help Fund Cold-Weather Shelters

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Council Allocates $5,000 To Help Fund Cold-Weather Shelters

Cookeville City Council allocated $5,000 to Helping Hands of Putnam County with funding emergency winter shelters.

With this week’s winter weather, shelters have been much more heavily populated than normal. Vice Mayor Luke Eldridge said he was excited to see the city help get shelter for those in need over the cold months.

“I’m glad to see that we’re able to take $5,000 to give to them and help with all of this because they have seen some individuals come into the shelter,” Eldridge said. “Some of them have actually stayed overnight to help there, so I commend all of you that have done that, and appreciate everything you’ve done because it really has helped us.”

The council allocated $12,000 to the Helping Hands for the fiscal year, but additional funds were requested during this period of increased demand. Helping Hands Director Rebecca Duncan said the shelter housed some 17 people on Thursday night.

“If the mission is full, we will store out cots,” Duncan said. “That’s part of what this money is going toward. We will store our cots, our extra food, all of the stuff that goes along with throwing together a shelter there, and we will be ready with volunteers to open up.”

Duncan said Helping Hands has paired with the Cookeville Rescue Mission because finding a church to use as the shelter presents too great a logistical challenge. She said the shelter is being held in a warehouse instead.

“We did it last year on two-and-a-half days’ notice, and I’m sure there’s a lot of people in this room that donated to us because I feel like the whole Putnam County donated to us,” Duncan said. “I finally had to say, ‘Stop bringing food. Do not bring any more food.’”


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