The bitter cold prompts New Haven shelters to extend hours

- FILE - Homeless Shelter in New Haven (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s down right dangerous to be outside in the bitter cold for an extended period of time. NEWS8 spoke with those in New Haven that are trying to make sure the homeless have a place to stay warm. The Columbus overflow shelter will remain open for folks during the bitter cold.

Arthur Palmieri said, “They take good care of us. They feed us. And when it gets really cold they let us stay in.” The homeless we talked to say they are thankful for the reprieve from the bitter cold. The Columbus House in New Haven has over 60 beds, all of which will be taken up. New Haven shelters extended their hours for those in need of a warm place to stay. Executive Director with the Columbus House, Allison Cunningham said, “It’s so dangerous out for the next couple of days that we really can’t close our doors during the day.” The homeless who have pets have a big dilemma. Shelters can only accept service dogs.

“That’s a big problem with the animals. Because they really have no where to go. They either have to gove them up or they have to find a relative that can take care of them,” added Palmieri. Cunningham told NEWS8, “The only pets that are allowed in are service dogs. When we have someone who arrives at our shelter who’s been referred and has a service animal we have to accommodate that.” Gerald Smith doesn’t brave the cold. He always finds a place to stay. “Dress warm. Spend time at the library. going on a computer. I always find places to keep warm,” Smith said. The Columbus house overflow shelter will be open around around the clock, until Tuesday morning at 8am. For more information on area shelters and warming centers call 211.

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