Homeless shelters full, but managing

Homeless shelters full, but managing

Posted: Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY -

For those whose home is outside in the cold, this cold snap isn't just dangerous --- it's deadly.

Area homeless shelters were full overnight, using overflow space to hold more people.

The Salvation Army had 24 people in its overflow area, but capacity for 50, according to Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance. The Jesus House had 16 in overflow, with room for 34.

The timing of the cold may have worked in the favor of metro homeless, Straughan said.

"Some of our unsheltered homeless that have disabilities and are getting those checks, probably went into hotels and motels," Straughan said.

Groups have been out on the streets --- warning folks that the sub-freezing temperatures warrant action. Sleep outside and face  serious risks.

The American Red Cross says it's at the ready if needed.

"If we have to open up any warming centers by request, we most definitely can do that," said Red Cross spokesman Ken Garcia.

Its main concern-- dangers inside homes like space heaters that start fires and carbon monoxide.

"Space heaters: leave plenty of space. Make sure you don't use the stove to heat your home. And don't bring in anything from outside to try to heat your home," Garcia said.

Garcia says the busiest time for the Red Cross is winter, when more house fires occur.

More safety tips are available from the Red Cross on its website: http://redcross.org/homefires

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