Shelter encourages homeless to seek warmth in cold temperatures

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The slush and piles of snow make driving conditions miserable this time of year, but for those in our homeless community, the frigid, cold temperatures are unbearable and that’s why shelters including the “City Rescue Mission of Lansing” open up their doors to provide a temporary home for those living on the streets.

“When people come the first they see is wow it’s safe, it’s clean and then it’s also and then it’s also loving as far as the people that come to help,” said Mark Criss; Executive Director of the City Rescue Mission of Lansing.

Criss says “City Rescue” offers a warm place for men, women and children to stay and a warm meal, but with the exception that they follow these rules:

“You can’t be drinking or doing drugs at the City Rescue Mission. I think it helps provide that accountability for people to come to a safe place,” Criss stated.

Criss says men are allowed to stay at the shelter for 90 days with no requirements but once those 90 days are up…

“There’s a requirement for you to volunteer at a non-profit organization 10 to 15 hours a week, you also have to be looking for work,” said Criss.

But those at the “City Rescue Mission” aren’t the only ones working to keep the homeless community safe…local law enforcement agencies do their part as well.

“We’ve had occasionally where the homeless individuals will stop in the station and we allow them to stay for 10, 15, 20 minutes to warm up if need be if that helps them out,” said Administrative Lt. Chad Connelly; East Lansing Police Department.

“If we see people in distress, we’re going to go ahead and take the appropriate measures, make contact with those people and just see what kind of resources we can get them…if they need an ambulance, if they need to go to a hospital, we’ll make sure we make those arrangements,” Sgt. Paul Beasinger stated; Lansing Police Department.

Criss says you at home can help too. He says the shelter is in need of gloves and hand warmers right now.

If you’d like to make a donation, you can head over to its location on Michigan Avenue or on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

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