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Keeping CNY's homeless safe and warm this winter

Central New York is at the start of what will be the coldest week of the season so far. Temperatures are expected to drop below zero and that has local homeless shelters planning ahead.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Central New York is at the start of what will be the coldest week of the season so far. Temperatures are expected to drop below zero and that has local homeless shelters planning ahead.

With 132 beds, the Rescue Mission’s homeless shelter for men has been running at, or above capacity. When that frigid air arrives, they’ll be ready with 15 extra cots. They’ll also be in communication with other shelters to see if beds might be available elsewhere.

"A bed is great. I'm more concerned with getting them outside from the cold. So, as long as they're in our facility, whether it's the lobby, in a chair, in a bed, you know we can provide showers, we can provide a blanket, we can provide a change of clothes as long as they're in our building,” said the Rescue Mission’s Director of Programs Dan Sieburg.

The Salvation Army recently expanded as well, especially after the need grew for housing for women and young families. To do that, they moved staff, put up some new walls, and added about 15 to 20 new rooms.

"Just this week was the first time in a really long time we've had no one in hotels,” said Linda Wright, Syracuse area Salvation Army Executive Director.

And although there are no guarantees when a cold snap arrives, the Salvation Army is preparing for an above capacity crowd as well.

They also plan to make outreach calls to seniors to make sure they're doing okay.

"They may have housing, but not always do they have housing that's really good quality and heat, enough heat, is always a concern for our senior population,” Wright continued.

The Rescue Mission says you can do your part as well by encouraging those out in the cold, with no where to go, to seek help from the Rescue Mission.

"Send guys to us, if you see a guy out on the corner just encourage them to come to the rescue mission and we will help them as best we can,” Sieburg said.

If you can’t get them to head over to the shelter, give the Rescue Mission’s Homeless Intervention Services a cal at 416-9237. Their team will drive by and hopefully pick them up.
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