Charlottesville Tomorrow: The aroma of cheesesteak subs and onion rings wafted through the rec room of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church on Emmet Street last Wednesday evening. About a dozen people sat around folding tables, talking about how good the food was while watching a basketball game on TV or playing cards.
“This place is a godsend,” said Roger Eubanks, a guest in the congregate shelter run by People And Congregations Engaged in Ministries (PACEM, pronounced “pah-chum”). He took a sip of orange-pink punch from a plastic cup. “It’s a place where I can lay my head at night, get food in my stomach. Instead of being on the streets, it’s a place where we can go.”
But Eubanks was lucky to get a cot and a meal that night. This winter, the roughly 100 overnight shelter beds available in the area have not been not enough for everyone who needs one, say local shelter directors — the demand is nearly double that.