Extreme cold weather pushes Des Moines homeless shelter's capacity

Homeless Man Sitting On Bench In Blizzard

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This stretch of extremely cold weather is pushing a Des Moines homeless shelter to capacity.

"It's life or death for people in this extreme weather and the sad reality is that, still are not willing to come and seek shelter. preferring to be on their own in the elements," says Kathy Caody with Hope Ministries.

She says they're doing what they can to help homeless people survive in the cold, even if they can't provide shelter.

"Even if we don't have the ability to give them a bed and have them stay with us, we do our best to meet their immediate needs with meals, handing out blankets, gloves, and hats--things like that," Coady says.

She their capacity limits are not only challenged by the extreme cold, and an ongoing construction project, but also by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There have been time periods where we've needed to pause on new admissions. We want to make sure we're keeping the environment as safe and healthy as possible. We want to ensure that it's a safe environment for our current residents before we bring new people into the mix," Coady says.

She says Hope Ministries is always looking for cash donations, as well as donations of warm clothes and food.

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