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Homeless Shelters React to Bitter Cold

The sub-freezing cold snap in Louisville has forced the city’s homeless shelters to start opening their doors to more and more people to help them survive the freezing nights.

The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope is at capacity. Director Matt Yates says all 135 beds are filled, and over the last few nights they’ve opened up overflow space with cots and blankets, and have temporarily housed between forty and seventy people there a night.

“These are men and women that may sleep in your streets, parks, in the woods, that aren’t yet ready to follow the rules of the shelter, that probably need medication, need some help, so we open our doors to those people,” he says.

Yates says while the freezing weather is bad, it sometimes helps them reach and help people they otherwise wouldn’t have come in contact with. He says they’re also seeking donations of blankets, coats and winter clothing.

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Local News

Fate of Boys and Girls Clubs Could Be Made Public This Week

Last week, the Louisville Area Command of the Salvation Army announced it was closing its two thrift stores. This week the organization is expected to make an announcement about the future of its Boys and Girls Clubs.

Major Keath Biggers says it was a community service that the thrift stores could provide shopping for low-income families, but the purpose of them was always to provide revenue for their other services. He says they hadn’t been doing that for years.

“It has been an ongoing – even before this economic meltdown occurred – ongoing problem,” says Biggers.

The four Boys and Girls Clubs operated by the Salvation Army are also struggling financially, due to loss of grant money in the last couple of years. Biggers says they’ll have an announcement about the future of the clubs this week.

Biggers says the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, which provides services for the homeless, is also struggling financially.

“The Center of Hope is still one that we’re still looking at and having to do some more groundwork in order to see what steps we need to take with the Center of Hope,” says Biggers.

No announcement is expected this week regarding the Center of Hope.