KARM expects to fill capacity during winter weather

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knox Area Rescue Ministries set up mats for people to sleep inside the chapel and dining hall of their facilities. These mats were placed as additional space for people outside of their established shelter premises.

Pastor David Lay of KARM said the organization expected to house nearly 400 people who needed shelter from the cold Thursday night as temperatures dropped towards freezing.

"When it hits like this, we keep the chapel open," Lay said. "We keep the dining hall open so they're able to get in out of the weather, and we just do all we can to keep them warm and keep them safe."

Lay said Knoxville Police perform sweeps of city streets to bring in people out of the cold who need a place to sleep.

KARM asked for donations from local people who would like to get rid of extra coats, gloves or scarves.