Bridgeport Rescue Mission helps people escape freezing temps

Posted: Updated:
FAIRFIELD -

The Bridgeport Rescue Mission took special steps to help the homeless stay warm during Saturday's frigid temperatures.

Officials opened the shelter's doors Saturday to any man, woman or child who needed to stay warm. The doors typically close after breakfast, and everybody has to be out of the shelter until it reopens at night.

Executive Director Terry Wilcox says he decided to break with tradition to accommodate people during the emergency cold conditions.

Claude Boiteux, 29, says he was grateful to have the warming center as a place to seek refuge. He says he recently experienced hypothermia while sleeping outside. 

"It was a disaster because one of the symptoms of hypothermia is you feel warm and you feel like taking off your clothes, and that's one of the worst symptoms you could get and I suffered from that," he says.

Executive Director Terry Wilcox says he will expand the Mission's overnight housing by putting down mattresses on the floor of the facility.   

He says preventing deaths and filling the basic needs is crucial.

"That's what we live for," he says.

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