Homeless Shelters in Dire Need of Cold Weather Clothing

Paul Gutierrez

OMAHA (KPTM) - The first week of Autumn usually marks a turning point for outdoor weather, especially in states like Nebraska. It can also rattle the nerves of the homeless who are left to wonder what they'll use to stay warm.

If that isn't scary enough to think about, consider that local homeless shelters like the Siena Francis House are in dire need of cold weather gear. For those less fortunate, it could mean the difference between safe and unsafe.

"It can be harsh," said Russell Robinson, who is homeless. "It's getting to the point now where people are sleeping in garbage cans just to get warm and are going to boarded up houses where they're not supposed to be."

Late Tuesday afternoon, staffers at the Siena Francis House showed Fox 42 News empty crates and push carts with each one representing a void that needs to be filled.

"It's like locusts," stated Bradley Polchow, a night manager at the Siena Francis House. "Things go out, but they don't come in."

That could be especially concerning this year as the number of service-seekers increases.

"I'm looking at a record-breaking Winter this year because the numbers were up so high during the Summer."

The Open Door Mission also tells Fox 42 News it could use some extra supplies. Among the items needed are gloves, scarves, ear muffs and hats.