Shelters gearing up for cold night - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Shelters gearing up for cold night

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A local shelter has already taken in some people because of the cold weather. They've been preparing sometime for this very night but could always use more donations to help the homeless stay warm this Winter.

With temperatures expected to dip into the low thirties, shelters in Birmingham could see an influx in homeless people. Jimmie Hale Mission in particular says it's prepared not to turn anyone away. "It's a huge blessing to come out of the cold." Ramon is changing his life at Jimmie Hale Mission and knows what it's like to be homeless. "I spent a month homeless, on the streets in the cold. it's pretty tough. There are some that can deal with and some that can't." For those who can't, they can find refuge here.

Executive Director, Tony Cooper, says when it's cold, you can't be turning people away, so we make room for folks." Even when all 140 beds are full, 40 or so mats are just around the corner. Cooper expects some will be used during this cold snap. "When it gets below 42-degrees, we loosen our belt and expand our borders, so to speak, to make room." And there is a room that can offer someone warmer clothes and shoes too.

The mission's volunteers started preparing for a night like this back in October. Just a few days ago, they started preparing extra meals. "We kind of knew cooler weather was coming, so we started getting ready for that, even on the food items." To welcome those needing comfort from the cold.

Jimmie Hale Mission need donations like coats, jackets, sweatshirts even gift cards for grocery stores. For a complete list of ways you can give, just visit www.jimmiehalemission.com

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