Beginning April 20, Shenandoah University’s former National Guard Armory building on Millwood Avenue will serve as a shelter for local homeless individuals.

The Winchester Rescue Mission, through a partnership with the university, will use the building as a temporary emergency shelter for up to 40 COVID-19-free individuals who are experiencing homelessness or who have become displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The emergency shelter came about as the rescue mission continues to experience an increase in need due to the pandemic. The 6,000-square-foot emergency shelter space will have high-speed internet access and gender-separated showers and bathrooms. It will also include a kitchen space, gymnasium and a few offices. The kitchen space will not be used for food preparation but mainly as a room to hold food and serve it through a stainless-steel pass-through window.

The shelter space will be available through the end of June.

The project is a joint effort of Shenandoah University, the Winchester Rescue Mission, city of Winchester, Frederick County, the Western Virginia Continuum of Care, Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter (WATTS) and the United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.


  • Starting Monday, April 20th, 2020, repeated every day until Tuesday, June 30, 2020 — all day