‘That’s weather that will kill somebody’: Lincoln charities help homeless endure cold

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – With wind chills expected to drop to 35 to 45 degrees below zero this week, it’s important for everyone stay inside.

But for some, finding a warm place to stay can be a challenge.

Pastor Tom Barber of the People’s City Mission said he doesn’t want anyone dying on the streets of Lincoln with this kind of cold.

“We’re really worried about the cold weather right now,” he said. “If it gets 30 or 40 below, that’s weather that will kill somebody out on the streets. We’ve encouraged and asked all the homeless to come into the mission if they’re on the streets.”

SEE ALSO: Get the latest weather forecast

Barber said if you see anyone outside who needs somewhere to stay, tell them to come to the mission.

He said there were over 200 people at the shelter on one recent day, and the shelter is expecting Lincoln’s entire homeless community over the next few days.

“There’s nobody that’s gonna be rejected from the mission,” Barber said. “Furthermore, we’re not gonna let anybody go, so if they’re misbehaving here, we’re just gonna have to hold onto them. But we’re not gonna kick anybody out of the mission because, again, that would be a death sentence.”

Barber said with so many people at the mission, it’s going to be tough to handle everyone, but the shelter has the Lincoln Police Department on standby in case there are any problems.

“A lot of the homeless know this is serious stuff, so they’re behaving with each other,” he said. “We haven’t had any major issues, but we’ve been kind of nervous to see what would happen.”

SEE ALSO: Food Bank of Lincoln reschedules distributions ahead of winter storm

The mission is loaded up with extra food, blankets and supplies for the rest of the week and into the holiday weekend.

But Barber said the mission will be shut down for donations on Thursday and Friday to keep people from driving in the winter weather. He said any donations can be made before then or online.

“We’re concerned a little bit, but we’ve done this before, and so far, we’ve been very fortunate in that things have gone well,” he said. “So, we’re hoping that will happen again.”

Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is also preparing to provide meals and supplies to any of Lincoln’s residents who need it.

Leanne Pelser, director of housing and outreach, says the nonprofit has blankets, sleeping bags and coats but could always use more donations and volunteers.

She said the building near 27th Street and Leighton Avenue will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day and isn’t planning to close.

Categories: Lancaster, News, Top Stories, Weather