Warming centers open across the state as temperatures continue to drop

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(WTNH) — All over the state there’s a push to get as many homeless people as possible off of the streets and into shelters. With dangerously cold temperatures setting in, it’s a race against the clock and those shelters are quickly filling up.

Noel Walker heads down the ramp and into the warmth of a no freeze shelter. He’s not alone as the temperature drops the shelters fill up. In New London they have five shelters, 10 in Waterbury and an even dozen in New Haven. At the Bethel AME Church, they have the blankets ready as word spreads the governor has activated the emergency cold-weather protocol.

Walker learned about the no freeze shelters from a friend in Middletown.

“I just found out today, I don’t know if anybody else knows, but they should know. A lot of people didn’t know about it, they know now,” said Walker.

And that’s the governor’s concern. People sleeping on the street might not have gotten word that the no freeze shelters are open.

“The really difficult part of this is some homelessness is caused by very serious mental challenges, mental health challenges and we gotta get to those folks the best we can,” said Malloy.

One of the concerns is that once the shelters start opening the doors like they are right now that they will be overwhelmed and that the staff will have problems because they don’t have enough people to take care of the need. Shelter director Nate Fox says they are not only keeping a close eye on the numbers at the shelter, but the number of staff members as well.

“And we have to be mindful of our staffing constraints at the shelter as much as we want to go over 50 we have to be safe and with in the guidelines,” said Fox.

To find the nearest shelter you can call 211 and they will assist you, or visit our list here.

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