Lansing Shelter Doesn't Reach Capacity, Despite Icy Temps - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lansing Shelter Doesn't Reach Capacity, Despite Icy Temps

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With cold snaps like the one we're in now, homeless shelters tend to fill up and often even go beyond capacity.

City Rescue Mission of Lansing was the only homeless shelter in the area to go through the night with beds to spare: five open beds for men and eight for women.

Executive Director Mark Criss says on average, between the shelters for men and women, they see 142 people per night. But despite this harsh weather, there hasn't been a big jump in the number of occupants.

"What happens is that as new people come in, typically guys who have been with us for a while get a job or get their housing. So we kind of see a revolving door of men coming and leaving at the same time. So we haven't seen a huge increase. Not beyond our capacity," said Criss.

He also said that another reason that people choose to not come is because of the shelter's policy of sobriety, an issue Criss says affects about half of the men and about a third of the women.

"It's for safety reasons, for everybody else. And so part of the challenge is they have to measure when do I want a safe place to stay and when do I want to drink," he adds.

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