Frigid temperature cause homeless shelters to fill up fast

By: Sharee Gilbert Email
By: Sharee Gilbert Email

Maryville, Tenn. (WVLT) - Frigid temperatures are causing homeless shelters around East Tennessee to fill up fast.

"We just do the best we can do we try to keep people as warm as we can. Unfortunately we have to turn people away and that's heartbreaking because it's so cold," said Heaven Sent Homes Employee,Rhonda Cooper.

Rhonda Cooper lives at the home with several other women and their children. The shelter in Blount County is set up more like a home, providing a comfy bed and plenty of blankets, helping to shield those inside from below freezing weather.

"During the summer time it's easier for them to make it out on the streets," said Cooper.

But once small shelters like Heaven Sent Homes get full, those in need have to hike up the road.

Just Saturday night the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry told local 8 news, more than 300 hundred homeless people came through the doors looking for a place to sleep, but just like many other shelters in the area, they too are running out of space.

"We have people that tells us stories that breaks your hearts that they have to be out in the weather the circumstances that they have to be in," said Cooper.

Circumstances she hopes to alleviate.

Temperatures expected to drop in the teens tonight.


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