Cold temperatures & homelessness: are shelters prepared?


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With the cold weather we’re facing, it’s important to bundle up and seek shelter.

That’s exactly what our homeless community is starting to do now and shelters have already started preparing for the increase of homeless people so they don’t have to face the frigid temperatures this winter.

Brisk and rainy days much like today, are miserable for everyone.

But imagine being without a home and having to spend each day in cold/gloomy weather.

“There’s still a number of families that are living out on the streets and it’s still a very life threatening situation,” said Homeless Angels Founder Mike Karl.

In the past, Homeless Angels Founder Mike Karl, struggled with homelessness himself, so he understands what the temperature drop can mean.

“You can see my breath and it’s only going to get colder from here and when you’re living out on the streets and there’s really no where you can go and the shelters are full, it’s hard to just survive,” Karl stated.

With the Magnuson hotel no longer housing displaced people, shelters including City Rescue Mission of Lansing are doing their part to make sure people are off the streets.

“We provide shelter for about 150 people a night so about 80 women and kids and about 70 men,” Executive Director of City Rescue Mission of Lansing Mark Criss said.

Criss says that number increases 13% when the cold weather hits and City Rescue Mission plans for that.

“We do overflow for a season so usually for a couple years we’ll put people on the floor on mattresses typically for the men during the winter season but as that consistently grows, we look at expanding our capacity to be able to meet those needs on a regular basis,” mentioned Criss.

Ultimately, Criss welcomes those without a home and says the shelter is more than prepared for the cold weather season.

“We’re really ahead of the curve, we’re well prepared for winter and we’re able to meet those needs in Michigan’s capital area,” Criss stated.

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