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Homeless shelters prepare for influx of guests as temps drop

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 3:56 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With temperatures dropping next week, homeless shelters and community kitchens are preparing.

At the Union Rescue Mission, they are used to seeing men come into their shelter year round, but especially in colder temperatures.

“Typically, we will see an increase in numbers when it really does get cold, a lot of the men we serve need help in just staying warm and getting a meal,” said Doug Nolte, the CEO of the URM.

He says on really cold days they open up a day shelter so men can escape the cold. They also help by providing hats, gloves, shoes and coats. Nolte says being a shelter during a pandemic hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been a challenge,” he said.

The shelter requires everyone in the facility to wear masks and try to socially distance.

Due to restrictions on gatherings, the Lord’s Diner has stopped serving meals inside to its guests.

“It’s a really sad change for them and for us. They are still getting a hot meal, so we feel good about that, but we miss being able to talk to our guests. I know they miss being able to sit down and talk to each other,” said Beth Barron with the Lord’s Diner.

Nolte says most people that come through the shelter are very appreciative of the help and a warm place to stay. He says they also always appreciate donations from the community.

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