A Quick Phone Call May Save A Life

With it being so cold outside, many of us just want to curl up inside with a warm blanket.

But some in the metro don't have that option.

With homeless shelters filled to the brim we are being asked to look out for other people during this cold streak.

"This is the type of weather where unfortunately when you are mentally ill, or you are under the influence, you don't realize the temperature drop so your body, you don't realize what the elements are doing to it," Candace Gregory of the Open Door Mission said.

Those living on the street are at risk as the temperatures drop.

Bill Gibson spent almost ten years living on the street.

"Your hands get cold, your feet get cold your whole body gets cold. yeah it's just like being in a freezer is what it's like," he said. "Trying to stay warm is really hard."

Gibson knows first hand what living outside this time of year can do.

"A guy fell asleep on a bench and froze to death, yeah they didn't realize how cold it was out there," he said. "You get that alcohol in you and you go to sleep that's what happens."

"This is the type of weather where we see one to two deaths," Gregory said.

So, the Open Door Mission is asking for our help.

Gregory said while we're out and about, if we see someone who looks like they need help, we're being asked to call the mission at 402-422-1111.

"We actually go out in twos and try to approach that person and really encourage them to come in out of the elements, have a hot shower, have a hot meal, have a great night's sleep and think about things differently the next day," Gregory said.

Gibson said a few days of nice weather can easily mislead homeless people.

"They think it will be alright to sleep out but not really because at night that weather will change on you and it gets cold again," he said.

A quick phone call may help save someone's life.

"That's what its all about you make a difference one person at a time," Gregory said.

Again, if we see someone who needs shelter from the cold, we're asked to call the Open Door Mission at 402-422-1111.

The Sienna Francis House is also at overflow capacity.

At least 470 people took refuge from the weather at that shelter last night.

Health officials also remind us to check on elderly or disabled neighbors to make sure they are safe when it's this cold.


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