Homeless shelters prepare for cold

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 19:26:27-05

Homeless shelters across the area are preparing for overflow crowds as the mercury plunges the next few nights.

Open Door Mission’s president says they will have room to house at least 12 hundred people because it's just too cold to be outside.

"I'm just saying if they are cold out there they need to come to some place that's warm because it can be a matter of life and death," said resident Vance Sims.

Sims says he and his son checked into Open Door Mission two years ago while he was fighting a drug addiction and living on the streets.

"My son and I were breaking into motel rooms because it was cold outside and we needed a place to stay," Sims said.

"We had blankets we put around us and it was a combination of rain and snow mixed and it was really cold" Sims said.

As temperatures drop Open Door Mission says more people walking into the shelter is something they  already anticipated.

"We have overflow mats available and we have actual mats available now because we know our beds will be full," said President and CEO Candace Gregory.

Not only are they predicting more people sleeping there at night they are also stocked with food.

"We have enough blankets, enough pillows, and on the other side just making sure everyone is fed well and aren't hungry," Gregory said.

Sims says he uses times like this to encourage others that fighting the cold is too dangerous and it's best to check into a shelter.

“I was thankful then and I am thankful now,” Sims said.

Open Door Mission says no one will be turned down tonight.