Families move-in to McClellan shelter in time for Christmas - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Families move-in to Maclellan shelter in time for Christmas

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Just in time for the holidays, homeless families in Chattanooga have a new place to go for shelter.

Channel 3 was there last week for the dedication of the new Maclellan shelter. The emergency shelter allows homeless families of different genders to stay together, the first of its kind in the greater Chattanooga area.

"We've had a lot of phone calls, our phone has been ringing off the hook," said Jens Christensen, Executive Director for the Community Kitchen.

Those on the other line were all saying the same thing.

"Hey, we have this family, this is our family make up and we need shelter pretty much right now,” described Paul Luikart, Director of the McClellan Shelter.

It's first come first served at the new shelter, but out of the 13 rooms only three were move-in ready with construction behind schedule.

"Hung the sign today, they're doing the cabinetry, the lobby's a mess. We're just trying to get it ready," said Christensen.

Just in time for Christmas.

So the beds are made with fresh sheets for three families who will now have a safe place to sleep.

"This is probably the hardest time of year for any homeless person, families making it more so. Holidays are definitely reminders of what you don't have, more so if you have kids," said Luikart.

Hundreds of others won't be as fortunate this holiday season.
       
"On one side I'm glad we're here to provide this service, that's what we're here for. On the side it is heartbreaking," said Luikart.

They expect to have all of the rooms opened by the end of January.

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