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Rainbow Community Center seeking donations for shelter

PORTERDALE - Rainbow Community Center, a homeless shelter located in Porterdale, is seeking extra donations this holiday season.

The shelter is at about double its usual capacity, according to the director, the Rev. Clara Lett.

"They're coming in with just the clothes on their backs," Lett said.

Canned food, coats, clothes, towels, blankets, soap and shampoo are among the items needed, she said.

The shelter typically houses between 28 and 32 people, but currently has 57 residents, she said.

The main shelter at Rainbow Covenant Church on Hemlock Street sleeps 25 people, while two other locations - one on Ivy Street and another on Hemlock - sleep 10-12 each, Lett said.

A new shelter on Turner Lake Circle is expected to open in March or April, she said.

That shelter will accommodate between 60 to 80 residents.

But for now, "We're turning away every day because we don't have the availability," Lett said, adding that, "We're hearing more calls from families than we normally hear."

Lett attributes the increase in residents to foreclosures and unemployment.

Lett said she expects to need extra donations through the holidays.

To make a donation to Rainbow Community Center, drop off items at 9 Hemlock Street from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

For more information, call 770-787-8519.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.