Local shelters ready to welcome people seeking warmth from bitter cold temps
The dropping temperatures following Friday morning's snow can create a dangerous situation for the homeless population, so local shelters are working to ensure people have the resources they need to stay warm.
Yalanda Mateo, director of client services at Open Doors Shelter says they start working with the homeless populations in the summer months to make sure people don't have to brave the plummeting temperatures on the streets.
"If people don't get assistance, they will die," said Mateo.
Samm Williams makes sure people in the area are warm and comfortable year-round.
"I try to go out in the community as much as I can to different isolated and open spaces to try and find individuals who are actively street homeless," said Williams.
Opens Doors says capacity levels has been their biggest challenge during COVID. They used to be able to house 80 people and now they are at capacity with 50 guests.
Over in Bridgeport, the Overflow Shelter from Prospect House Shelter is at capacity, but also won't turn anyone away.
"COVID has been crazy, especially the last two weeks with staff getting sick, and clients getting sick and needing to isolate," said Denise Kilick.
Kilick has worked with the homeless population for six years and she says she's never seen such a need for emergency shelter.
"It's been getting progressively worse, especially in the Fairfield County area," said Kilick.
They will work with guests to connect them to housing resources and other necessary services.
Anyone in need of shelter in these cold temperatures tonight should call 211.