Savannah homeless shelters prepare for busy weekend

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Homeless shelters across Savannah are preparing for a busy weekend with overnight temperatures expected to drop into the 20s.

The Salvation Army and Old Savannah City Mission are just two of the places offering a warm place to stay and a free meal. The Old Savannah City Mission normally has room for about 40 people. With the added space, they now are prepared for 60 people. Between there and the Salvation Army, there are more than 200 beds for people needing a place to stay.

Charlie Taylor is one of more than a hundred people taking advantage of the Salvation Army shelter this weekend.

"It feels real good not to be on the street in this cold weather," said Taylor.

With overnight temperatures expected to be coldest of the season, the streets are no place to weather them.

"Well, it means a lot to me. It helps me stay off the street, off alcohol and drugs, and have a warm place to stay and something to eat at night," said Taylor.

The Salvation Army pulled out extra cots, sheets and toiletry items for the larger than normal crowd through the weekend.

"We pack people in knowing that being outside is not a place you want to be experiencing cold weather," said Salvation Army Major Phil Swyers.

The facility is open to anyone except those convicted of sex crimes or with violent criminal histories. They hope people take advantage of the opportunity.

"There's no reason to see how cold can it get for me to make it, there are resources and agencies that are more than willing to help people who are wanting to get off the street," said Swyers.

A few blocks away at the Old Savannah City Mission, things are just as busy.

"We are expecting a full house because of the cold," said Mission Director Reginald Lee.

Sixty men are expected to fill the Mission through the weekend. They also hope the homeless people don't try to brave the weather.

"You don't have to do it. There is a place right here at the Old Savannah Mission for you to be housed, get a warm meal, and get a word from the Lord," said Lee.

Each of these shelters wants it to be clear—you have a place to stay.

"If anybody ain't got no place to live, please come and live at the Salvation Army," said Taylor.

It's an offer that could save your life with cold weather on the way.

Both shelters said they're always in need of donations both monetarily and just for the essentials like soap and shampoo to run the shelters. For a full list of Savannah's homeless shelters, click here.

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