Charlotte Shelter Turning People Away As Homelessness Grows

Charlotte's largest homeless shelter is turning people away to reduce crowding and avoid violating fire safety codes.

The Salvation Army shelter houses only women and children, and is designed to hold 180. For months it has housed at least 200 nightly, sometimes as many as 280, with some sleeping in a television room, offices and hallways.

The shelter began turning people away after firefighters responding to medical emergency ordered the crammed shelter to deal with the crowding problems. Among those turned away was a woman and an infant.

The director of social services for the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte says it's the first time in her 16 years with the organization that the shelter has denied admission to anyone.

Since turning away a woman and baby, administrators again are admitting women with children and women who are victims of domestic violence. Others are admitted only as current residents leave.