Homeless Staying Warm in Deep Freeze
(Memphis) Many in Memphis don’t have the comfort of their own homes to stay warm in Sunday night.
The City of Memphis and several organizations are planning to step up services to keep the homeless warm and safe.
Sunday, Lonnie Pinson pulled out everything he has to keep warm.
It’s all stuffed in two bags he also uses for pillows.
The Marine Veteran is homeless, sleeping on Memphis streets for about a year now.
“Right now, I got on three hoodies, two skull caps, sweat pants under my pants and my shoes have insulated soles,” said Pinson.
But even with all of his gear, there’s one part of his body Pinson fears won’t be OK, his hands.
“They go numb, it hurts. I might have to stay up all night and walk. Try not to think about.
Pinson spent Sunday afternoon hanging around outside. He tells News Channel 3, he was barred from the Union Mission downtown for bad behavior.
All Sunday afternoon, cold rain pounded the streets of Memphis.
The Union Missions says because of the extreme below freezing weather, they aren’t turning away anyone; even if they have had problems in the past.
The men’s shelter is set up to take in 400 people.
“It’s going to be freezing out here tonight. When I say freezing, I mean you aren’t going to be able to feel anything,” said Lisa Martin.
News Channel 3 caught up with Lisa Martin as One Heart Ministries volunteers passed out sack lunches.
Just three years ago, she was homeless and in the cold. But Sunday night, she’ll be in her own warm bed.
“I know what it feels like now that I do have shelter. I’m grateful for that,” said Martin.
She’s also grateful that shelters are open to take in people like Pinson.
“Just praying that everything turns out alright,” said Pinson.
Starting at 7 p.m. Sunday, The Orange Mound Community Center on Park became a warming center.
The City of Memphis and the Community Alliance on Homeless will pass out blankets, gloves and hats to the homeless and try to convince them to go to shelters.
Memphis Police will also be on the lookout for those on the streets.