Cold weather shelters open across the state

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Cold weather shelters open across the state
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A homeless man takes advantage of the warm air coming from a sidewalk
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Shelters across the state are making adjustments to house more homeless people from the coldest air this season. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Seventy people are resting at the Salvation Army in Jackson. Volunteers expect the number to increase each night temperatures are below freezing. Cold weather shelters typically open when temperatures are in the mid 30's or lower to get more people off of the street and into warmer areas.

Jennifer Stanley is with the Salvation Army.

"Our shelter has currently been staying open 24 hours a day. We are providing breakfast lunch and dinner. We are providing coats, blankets, socks and just the immediate needs to provide anyone who's stuck out in the cold during this season," said Stanley.

Dr. Alan Jones is the chair of Emergency Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

He says, seek shelter to avoid frostbite, frostnip or the most concerning hypothermia.

"They can quickly become unconscious. The heart can stop and they can die if it's not remedied. Anyone who is homeless or exposed to cold temperatures for a long amount of time without the proper clothing or protection are vulnerable to any of these effects," said Jones.

Stanley is asking for donations from the community to help keep residents warm.

"Blankets we would take off anyone's hands, sleeping bags, if they want to go out and buy socks, we really depend on the community when it comes to providing for the homeless," said Stanley.

There are at least 10 cold weather shelters opening across the state according to Mississippi United to End Homelessness. You can contact the organization for a list of open shelters.