Shelters push to get homeless in from the cold
Posted January 6
Raleigh, N.C. — At the Salvation Army of Wake County, workers were busy Monday setting up extra cots to accommodate anyone who needed a place to stay for the night.
With temperatures forecast to plummet into the single digits overnight, it is a “white flag” night. That means homeless shelters will work to find extra cots for those needing a place to stay.
The capacity at the Salvation Army’s shelter is 92 beds, and directors say people start showing up at dark.
“Putting yourself in that situation where it’s freezing outside and you have nowhere to go,” said Lizzy Adams, spokeswoman for the nonprofit. “When they realize that there is a warm place for them to stay – yes, I can have shelter, a hot meal, a warm bed – it’s just elation.”
The Raleigh Rescue Mission was also gearing up for the cold. With a shelter capacity of about 100 people, workers were setting up extra beds.
"When it's 15 degrees outside and somebody needs a place to come in, we're going to find a place for them to be able to rest their head," said Lynn Daniell with Raleigh Rescue Mission.
Breckney Montague said she was grateful to stay at the shelter.
"It's a blessing for me to be here," she said. "Me and my kids have a place to stay."
Teams from the Durham Rescue Mission spent the day trying to bring in the city's homeless who may need a place to stay Monday night. They went to wooded areas and other spots where the homeless are known to stay, offering coffee, snacks and transportation to the shelter for those who want it.
Workers said it’s not always easy persuading people to come in from the cold.
“Every now and then, we’ll find somebody that doesn’t want to come in,” said Rodney McClain of the Durham Rescue Mission. “They are comfortable where they are. A lot of time they don’t get to see the news, and they don’t know just how cold it will be.”
The Helping Hand Mission is collecting heaters to help families that have no way to heat homes this winter. To donate heaters, call the organization at 919-829-8048.