Salvation Army Welcomes Anyone Without A Home As Temperatures Drop

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) Those cold temperatures we've been expecting are here, and for some people, it will be much more obvious.

The Salvation Army says Bowling Green's homeless population is growing.

Sunday afternoon more than 40 people were already staying there.

Many more went in Sunday evening for at least a one-night stay.

"We can have people come in once it's below 32 degrees. We do not have to wait until it's one degree. They can come in right now if it's 32 or below, anybody can come in and stay at the shelter. All you need is a picture ID and social security card," said LeKeeshia Lawson, a monitor tech at the Salvation Army.

People without a home depend on places like the Salvation Army.

"Plenty of room, plenty of food, plenty of heat, free cable, service with a smile -- this is a shelter, who wouldn't want to stay here?" said Lawson.

That's why, although more than 70 beds are available, they've got a back-up plan if those beds get full.

Lawson says there's plenty of extra space to put up cots if it's dangerously cold out. No one is turned away.

"Even though we all live our separate lives, we all care about each other's situations. If there was something going on, we'd hate to see somebody else go out in the cold when we just came in from the cold," said DeQuan Williams, who is staying at the shelter.

If you're worried about the people you continue to see outside, Lawson says they've reached out to them.

"We have a lot of people that come from underneath the bridge, and they might come in and eat and then they'll leave. A lot of people don't want to stay in, they're so equipped to being outside. They'd rather just come in and eat and then go right back underneath the bridge, but everyone knows that the shelter is open."

However, Williams says no one should stay outside.

"We do worry about them and I hope that they can see this and come on in and get out of the cold. If there's somewhere you can go, I'd go," he said.

Williams says the Salvation Army is helping him get on his feet, so someday, he'll get to be in his own home during severe winter weather.

The Salvation Army always needs extra blankets or pillows -- even if they're slightly worn. They're asking you to donate to help keep everyone in the community safe and warm.

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