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Efforts Underway To Help Homeless Get Shelter During Winter Storm

DETROIT (WWJ) - There are efforts to get Detroit's homeless off the streets during the snow storm moving into the metro Detroit area over the next few days.

With temperatures expected to be in the single digits Monday and Tuesday and the wind chill factor at 20 to 30 below zero the outdoor conditions could be life threatening for those unprepared to deal with the cold.

Operations manager for the Tumaini Center shelter in Detroit, Lewis Hickson, says they've been busy.

"As full as we can be ... We've been at capacity probably for the last month," said Hickson.

"We've got two groups of people who actually go out on the street - under viadocks and in abandoned homes and try to reach out to people to try to get them to come in from the cold," he said.

Hickson is concerned because he knows many homeless people will search for shelter in abandoned properties.

"I expect that many are in 'abanda-miniums' that's my term for condominiums, you know, that people have to take up refuge in - there is no other way. Because you can't be outside."

Hickson says they'll do what they can to squeeze in more people at the center with the frigid temperatures that are forecast.

During several days next week the Detroit VA Healthcare System will be the site of a "Warming Center" for Veterans and their families, Monday – Thursday, January 6 – 9, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day.

Coffee and blankets will be provided in room B1290, located on the first floor of the medical center.

The medical center is located at 4646 John R, Detroit.

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