City Opening Special Shelters To Combat Deadly Temperatures

Posted on: 4:04 pm, January 6, 2014, by , updated on: 05:16pm, January 6, 2014

(Memphis) If you’ve stepped outside today, you know it’s bitterly cold, but some people have no choice but to be outside.

The city expects 200 homeless people will sleep outside tonight as temperatures stay at a deadly low.

The city’s Hospitality Hub is sending out five teams to find homeless or helpless people in their homes, and help them escape the deadly cold temperatures at one of the city’s shelters.

“Our job today is to make sure people are aware of the risks and the additional resources. Maybe they think they know all the resources out there when new resources have been made available especially for this weather situation,” said Katie Kitchin with the Memphis Hospitality Hub.

Today’s special resources include all civic buildings and community centers in the city open as warming centers for anyone to stop by and warm up.

Hospitality Hub groups are also handing out care kits and blankets and providing free transportation to shelters.

The Orange Mound and Douglas Community Centers will be open all night for anyone to come and get out of the cold even if you’re not homeless but need to warm up.

Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson is coordinating the push to get people to safety.

“Firefighters are going to be paying attention. Police officers are going to be roving the streets paying attention. If we see someone in need of help we’re going to stop and see ‘did you know the Orange Mound Community Center is open? Did you know Douglas is Open? They Union Mission is down the street and we’re going to make sure they get there,’” said Benson.

He says the city needs your help by checking on your neighbors.

The Memphis Union Mission, which is a homeless shelter for men, and the Salvation Army Shelter for women are extremely crowded but offering a warm bed and free food to anyone who needs it.

“We just try to be as flexible as we can during a situation like this to make sure people have a safe warm place to sleep,” said Steve Carpenter with the Union Mission.

The Union Mission says it need some help from you.

It has so many people right now, but it needs blankets, jackets, and clothing like socks and underwear.

If you can help, call them at (901) 526-8403.