FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The community’s winter weather contingency plan is now in effect to keep those in need of shelter safe during the extreme cold.
The Rescue Mission serves the homeless and those in need 365 days of the year. However, due to the frigid temperatures, it’s one of several agencies that are opening their doors to help the influx of people in need.
“I don’t have bus fare like that and I’m hungry before I get into work, I stop here is one of the main spots I stop to eat me something and get out of the cold for a minute to get back to walking to work,” Kendra Williams, who visited for lunch, said.
Warming signs help mark the centers that are open.
“We’re convinced that the vast majority of folks know that this is going on whether or not they’re willing to come in, that’s another story,” Reverend Donovan Coley, CEO and Senior Pastor at The Rescue Mission said.
According to Coley, volunteers at the Rescue Mission go to the homeless offering help, however, only about half take advantage of it.
For the ones who do, below are the locations and hours:
Community Center, 233 W. Main St. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Rescue Mission, 301 W. Superior St. 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and open overnight for single men.
Salvation Army, 2901 N. Clinton St. is open overnight for families and couples.
“We’re not going to close our doors to anybody if someone wants to come into our office,” Captain Luis Acosta of the Salvation Army said.
It’s an initiative that the city hopes sends one message.
“There are people out there who care about them. People out there who want to make sure that when people are in dire straights that someone is out there to take care of them,” Mayor Tom Henry said.
Social service leaders said it’s one more step toward the bigger picture.
“Together we’re in this to see lives transformed,” Reverend Coley said.
“Thank you, they’ve done a lot for us,” Williams said.
Once the temperature rises to a safe number, the city will make a formal announcement that the plan has ended.