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Homeless Shelter Emerges From Storm, Braces For Another

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By Jonathan Wilson

Volunteers and staff at Carpenters Homeless Shelter in Alexandria, Virginia are working to make sure residents have a warm, safe place to stay during the winter weather.

Mary Martin is the deputy director of Carpenters shelter and she says without volunteers, the shelter couldn't have dealt with all the people in Alexandria looking for a place to stay this weekend.

Claire Burns is one of those volunteers. She braved a 45- minute walk through the snow to get to the shelter this morning. She says when you're helping a place like Carpenters, its easy to go the extra mile.

"Literally and figuratively," she says with a laugh.

But getting to the shelter isn't the only challenge. Lee Spears and Anthony Butler, both currently housed in Carpenters residential shelter, took turns with a shovel this morning digging Butler's car free from snow. Spears needs a ride to work its his first day on the job.

"If I don't make it in, they'll go with somebody else, and I need the job," Spears says.

The overnight shelter here serves about 25 people a night, but weather has pushed the occupancy to 40 for the past few nights.

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