Homeless missions relax policies in cold snap

10:12 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- There are people in the Grand Rapids area who live on the street, so what do they do in these weather conditions?

This weather can be life threatening and shelters are reaching out to the mostly men who spend their nights under bridges. A number of outreach centers are close by each other on South Division Ave, and all relax their policies on days like this, opening to men that might have been kicked out in the past.

The shelters increase security and overall staffing to deal with a higher demand for emergency housing. Meals are expanded, and word gets out to the homeless community that in this weather, they have a home, no questions asked.

The homeless shelters' back-up plans include pulling out extra mattresses they store for just these occasions, occasions when the temperatures get below 10 degrees.

The shelters are using this cold snap to highlight the role they play, and hope people remember how important their donations are to organizations like Mel Trotter, the Guiding Light, and God's Kitchen.

These outreach centers all say they could benefit from donations of hats and scarves.

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