The Department of Health and Human Services estimates more than 12,000 people are homeless in North Carolina.
In Jacksonville, the Onslow Community Outreach Shelter is usually closed during the day. It's staying open 24 hours both Tuesday and Wednesday to help dozens of people who would otherwise be out on the street.
Employees say the shelter houses 24 beds, including two family rooms. The shelter serves a free lunch Monday through Friday, and anyone is welcome.
WITN spoke to a homeless coalition nonprofit group known as Can Do. They do a count of homeless people on any random night to try and get a sense of exactly how many people are on the streets.
On January 30, 2013 Can Do counted 459 people homeless in Onslow county, including 222 adults and 237 children.
The Onslow Community Outreach Shelter will be open again Wednesday for 24 hours. Employees say donations of cash to pay for utilities, blankets and coats are much appreciated.