Shelters fill to care for 8,000 homeless in Atlanta | News
ATLANTA - Volunteers at the Gateway Center downtown are operating on emergency mode. It's crucial they get the homeless indoors.
One reason they are racing the dropping temperature is because often the homeless population doesn't see a weather forecast, and they often don't know how low and dangerous the temperature will get.
"On nights like these it's a dire situation because homeless people are dying from the cold," explained Rachel Solid of Atlanta Union Mission.
Inside shelters across Atlanta space is filling. An estimated 8,000 are homeless across Atlanta.
"I couldn't feel my fingers. My toes, it felt like I was walking on nothing," explained "Yossi."
He lives on the streets, but found a warm place to sleep at Gateway Center, which is operating around the clock until the temperature rises above freezing.
At the Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless at Peachtree and Pine streets, the need for blankets is great. Seven hundred people lined up Thursday morning for help.
"People can't be outside for long periods of time no one can. So we try and to get everybody to alert anyone they see outside to come inside," said Anita Beaty.
Atlanta Police directs homeless to shelters. So do church groups and other outreach agencies. Shelters like the Atlanta Union Mission are filled to capacity, but they're not turning anyone away.