Salvation Army Gearing Up to Help Those Left in the Cold

Posted at: 01/02/2014 7:04 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- The Austin Salvation Army is bracing for a busy couple of days ... and you can blame the weather.

"It drives people inside, which is the smart thing to do, get out of the cold" the Army’s Lt. David Amick told us.

But what happens when the weather turns dangerously cold, and your *inside options* are limited?

"We see an increase in our emergency lodging demand" Amick said. “We see people that are coming off the street, coming in from other areas, they just have no other place to go. Or you may have heaters that go out and you have people that can't live in those conditions."

It’s a recurring problem during a Minnesota winter – a BIGGER problem when the weather turns dangerous.

“We may have anywhere from 2 to 5 requests per week, and when the weather gets cold that could bump up to 10 to 15 per week" Lt. David Amick explained.

And the Salvation Army has a couple of options to help those who need help.

"We will either seek lodging at one of the hotels we use, or we may open our building and use what we have here" Amick said.

And if the need is more short-term, the Austin Salvation Army will open its building as a warming center for anyone who just needs a safe place to be.

“We try to make any contingency we can to accommodate as many as we can" Lt. David Amick said.