Cold Weather Posts Threat to Homeless - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Cold Weather Posts Threat to Homeless


The cold weather blowing into Mid-Michigan is posting as a threat for those without homes in the Lansing area.

"You can't shut the door, roll up the  or turn up the heat when your homeless," said Patrick Patterson with the Volunteers of America. "There are human lives at stake."

It's exactly why the city and local shelters have implemented their cold weather policy.

"We try not to turn people away and so what we'll do is utilize all of our beds and then we will have mattresses we put on the floor," said Mark Criss with City Rescue Mission.

The shelters are working to accommodate everyone they can, opening up extra spaces and pulling out extra beds donated by Lansing Emergency Management.

"If we have to do something more drastic, we'll do that because you have to get through this time. Everybody pulls together. This is a strength of the Lansing community," said Patterson.

Out of 200 beds, nearly every one is taken at both City Rescue Mission locations and they expect to be at capacity overnight. It's the same story at the Volunteers of America--all 66 beds in their emergency shelter are filled, but they do have extra cots on hand and say police and fire will even bring people in if they see anyone stuck in the frigid temps.

"We also ask citizens if they see people out walking, wandering if they would alert us," said Joan Jackson Johnson with Lansing Human Relations.

"I think that's the silver lining is they truly recognize that they need help they can't be out in the elements this time of year," said Criss.

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