JOPLIN, MO.--- Being caught outside in these bitter cold temperatures can be dangerous. So, Joplin shelters are paying close attention to the needs of the area's homeless. Souls Harbor and Watered Gardens are helping as many individuals as they can in more ways than one. Watered Gardens Rescue Mission is putting a roof over 45 homeless individuals tonight.
"When the weather gets like this, we really need to be attentive to the needs," sad James Whitford, Watered Gardens Rescue Mission.
A new expansion which opened just last month is paying dividends, sheltering 10 more individuals than in the past.
"Last night we had two beds open, but our waiting list tonight is at five," said Whitford.
Souls Harbor is taking some of their overflow this evening.
"We had about an 8% increase in the number of people who came in to the shelter for residence," said Georgia Jones, Souls Harbor Director.
Also putting them over capacity, providing 53 people with a warm place to lay their heads. Souls Harbor also opened a day room for people to stay during the day.
"So they can come in out of the elements, watch television and be protected and comfortable," said Jones.
Both shelters also provide warm clothing to help make the weather more bearable.
"We're at temperatures right now where it can hurt you, frostbite. In fact, I met a guy today that didn't have proper clothing on, didn't have shoes on, it was a real problem," said Whitford.
Souls Harbor is stocked up on coats, gloves, hats and even shoes.
"Being able to help someone have their needs met and to know that the possibility of saving a life in this kind of weather is a real thing, you know, hypothermia," said Jones.
Souls Harbor is in need of socks and thermal underwear to provide for those with jobs outdoors. People can drop off donations at their downtown location.
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