Homeless shelters near capacity as temperature plummets - FOX Carolina 21

Homeless shelters near capacity as temperature plummets

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As an Arctic cold front dives southward, bringing very cold air into Middle Tennessee, area homeless shelters worry about having to turn people away.

Overnight lows will be around 16 degrees Monday and Tuesday in Nashville, and the high temperature Tuesday will not get above freezing, according to the 4WARN Weather team.

After the death of a homeless man earlier this month was blamed on the cold, it has become clear the city does not have the amount of shelter it needs for its thousands of homeless.

Officials estimate Nashville has a homeless population of about 4,000 people, and Metro police along with the Nashville Rescue Mission patrol for homeless people on cold nights like Monday.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," said homeless resident Alice Summers. "I'm worried about it, because it's going to be cold outside."

At downtown shelter Room in the Inn, a tree near the front entrance is composed of the names of the dozens of men, women and children who have died on the streets. Some of them succumbed to the type of cold expected this week, and the shelter will likely have to turn people away as it hits capacity.

Dozens of area congregations have opened their doors to allow people inside during cold nights, and in east Nashville, folks can go to East Nashville Cooperative Ministries.

Organizers there said they have enough air mattresses for 15 people, but no one will be turned away if they want to sleep on the floor.

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