More resources needed for the homeless this winter

The need for more resources this Michigan winter

LANSING, Mich.(WLNS)-  With the cold winter temperatures setting in, there’s even an greater need for a warm place to stay for those on the streets.

According to the 2014 Annual Homeless Report from the city of Lansing, there are 430 people homeless on any given night in Ingham County.

And local shelters are in agreement. They need more resources this winter to better help out those in need.

“I’ve had to sleep in cars before in 20-degree weather. You can have ten blankets. You’ll never get warm, said Volunteers of America shelter resident Kevin McDonald.

A warm place to stay. It’s a luxury for some, right in our very own backyard.

“A couple of people living in cardboard boxes i just hope and pray that ain’t me one day but you can never say never,” said McDonald.

The problem?  There’s just not enough resources.

“We all turn away people each and every day. There are just not enough beds to service everyone in our community,” said Haven House Director Angie Mayeaux.

That problem becomes a bigger worry, when bone-chilling temps hit Mid-Michigan.

“The weather makes it dangerous because we have to find ways to stretch because we can’t leave people to die on the streets because of the cold, “ said Patrick Patterson with the Volunteers of America.

It’s this cold weather, which makes shelter organizers jobs’ a little bit harder.

“We’re always uncertain to some extent how big the need is going to be. So we have to find the space and the staff and the food and the power to care for folks of an unknown quantity,” said Patterson.

It’s a helping hand, that’s fulfilling a big need one person at a time.

“I probably would be out there in the cold sleeping in the night or just trying to find somewhere to sleep. I’m very gracious,” said McDonald.

Something Kevin McDonald and many others like him are so very thankful for.

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