Extreme weather leaves shelters needing supplies - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Extreme weather leaves shelters needing supplies

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Cherry St. Mission is back to normal operations after a bitterly cold week.  The shelter kept round the clock hours while temperatures dropped into the single and negative digits.

Leaders have seen a 20 percent increase in the number of people needing shelter this year.  They housed almost 300 people while the extreme weather came through.  Now winter must-haves like boots, scarves and socks are running low.

"What we saw during the cold snap is that it took those numbers and moved them up much earlier in the year," says Dan Rogers, CEO for Cherry St. Mission Ministries.  "Less than a week into January our resources are very depleted because of those increasing numbers that we would normally see toward the back end of February."

St. Paul's Community Center's regular overnight shelter, the Winter Crisis Program, also stayed open all day during the arctic blast.  Leaders say supply levels are good for now, but they're not sure how long it will last.

"As the season goes on, not knowing what the weather is going to be like, we don't know what we're going to need more of," says resident specialist, Christy Snyder.

Both shelters are hoping the community will step up, and already some are.  Maumee resident Tamiko Bell brought in socks, shirts, blankets and pants Thursday night. 

"It makes me feel good because if I was in the situation, I would want someone to do it for me," says Bell.

Donations are their lifeline to helping the area's neediest families. With such a brutal start to the new year, they'll take all that they can get.

"We won't turn a donation away," says Snyder. "Anything we can get we'll put to good use for sure."

Items Needed at Cherry St. Mission:

- socks               - ear muffs

- hats                 - boots

- gloves

- coats

- scarves

Items Needed at St. Paul's Community Center:

- toiletries                - paper products

- toothbrushes         - coffee

- toothpaste             - socks

- deodorant              - gloves, mittens

Visit http://www.cherrystreetmission.org/ for more on donating to Cherry St. Mission Ministries, and http://stpaulscommunitycenter.org/donations-financial-support/ for giving to St. Paul's Community Center.

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