More cold weather means more need at shelters

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Charities providing help for the homeless are in need themselves.

In Bristol, both the Salvation Army and the Haven of Rest Mission have seen their numbers rise as the temperature goes down.

It's a rare sight to see an empty bed at one of our area shelters like the Haven of Rest Mission in Bristol, Tennessee.

As with each year, the mission measures the need for help. "We track the number that we see and we try to track how the weather affects the numbers of the people that come, especially the people that we see on just a single-night basis when it gets cold. That way we know how to better prepare," Joshua Wiley with the mission says.

All things considered, they were better prepared this year; but like always, there is a need for blankets and toboggans. "We have seen a large number of people come up just asking for warm blankets and toboggans. People that don't want to stay, some have homes but maybe their heat is not adequate. So we've been supplying blankets and things for those folks," he said.

Down the street at the Salvation Army, it's been a full house most of the winter. "It's been full in our shelter. We've seen a rise in numbers that come in to eat lunch and dinner. The numbers have grown ever since the cold started," Lt. Sara Buck said.

With so many seeking shelter and help, they too have their needs. "We need donations of blankets, towels and canned foods. Those things sometimes people forget about, but those are things needed at this time," Lt. Buck said.

More people means more need, and there's still more winter left to come.

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