Cold Temperature Keeps Homeless Shelters Busy

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Temperatures in the teens mixed in with wind and snow send just about anyone running for cover.

"A lot of protection, it's just too cold out there," said Cory Ferguson.

Ferguson found protection at the City Rescue Mission, one of the only places in Lansing that had a bed for her. Executive Director Mark Criss says they typically see more men come in during winter.

"A lot of the men that were sleeping out in sheltered vacant buildings for example, under bridges, they realize it's just getting a little too cold for them, they'll come in for help," Criss said.

Shelter staff spent Monday laying out extra mattresses since they were already at capacity otherwise. However, if mattresses run out too, they may have to start turning people away.

"We work very closely with other agencies so we will give them a call so we don't have to turn people right out to the street. I'm just saying the potential is always there, we can only do so much," Criss said.

A close partner is VOA in Lansing. However, they too have run out of permanent beds and the staff unfolded cots on Monday and placed them in any and all available spaces.

"We're always very much on the cusp here at Volunteers of America because we try to meet the need, we think that's important to do for our community, this community," said Patrick Patterson, executive vice president of Volunteers of America Michigan.

Patterson says they're doing everything they can to make sure everyone has a space there for the night because when it gets too cold, the alternative is unthinkable.


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