Homeless Keeping Warm

With temperatures dropping into the 20’s tonight, scores of Chattanoogans will be looking for shelter downtown.

Agencies that provide those services, like the Salvation Army, the Community Kitchen and Rescue Mission are pretty good at guessing how many to prepare for.

This is actually the second night this season that the Chattanooga Community kitchen has opened. But this night will be especially troublesome for people who live on the street, or in sub-standard homes.

JENS CHRISTENSEN, CEO, CHATTANOOGA COMMUNITY KITCHEN  “It looks like it’s going to be a really cold night. We were debating earlier if it was 19 or 24..seeing it on the news and at a certain point it just doesn’t matter….its dangerously cold.”

There will be pallets on the floor here , and that will fill a big need.

JENS CHRISTENSEN  “For this kind of service there just aren’t enough beds in Chattanooga to meet the need. Each night 150 to 200 people or more will be outside sleeping under bridges, uh, in different alleys and places that they call unfit for human habitation.”

The staff is putting up signs outside to get the word to those who will be looking for shelter tonight, Friday and possibly Saturday night.

The kitchen also needs help paying the larger utility bills and providing coats.

Over at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission, the staff is preparing for about 60 people overnight.

DALE GRISSO, CHATTANOOGA RESCUE MISSION  “I was a supervisor one time overnight for a period of time and I would see guys on nights like this, uh, would never come in any other time, but when it gets cold enough even the guys in the tents would come home.”

This nothing new for the staff at the Rescue Mission.

DALE GRISSO  “Quite frankly, we think of it being so cold when you consider issues like safety and that..the streets aren’t hospitable no matter where it is..any day of the year, but particularly on a night like this.”

The Salvation Army has also set up sleeping arrangements at its Day Center at 800 McCallie.

All of these organizations need funds to help pay for the expense of providing shelters this weekend.


Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News

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