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Shelters working to keep more homeless out of cold

Published On: Jan 30 2013 10:31:24 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 31 2013 04:04:14 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

While the snowstorm kept many people indoors, not everyone is fortunate enough to have shelter from the cold.

Hypothermia is a serious concern across the state on the very cold nights.

People looking for a place to stay out of the cold are turning to various organizations for help, including the Salvation Army. The organization's homeless shelter on East Washington Avenue received extra cots and blankets from the Red Cross.

Normally, the emergency family shelter is only equipped for 20 and is forced to turn people away.

On Wednesday night, however, employees stocked the building with supplies for almost 50 with plans to let everyone inside. They're prepared to do whatever it takes to help people with nowhere else to turn.

"We are the safety net for them," said Leigha Weber, social services director. "So when we can't provide shelter, families are often sleeping in cars, or other unsafe, less-than-warm places for the evening."

Weber said the shelter will open conference rooms and empty offices to those in need of shelter. Families are able to stay at the Salvation Army Wednesday night until 8 a.m. Thursday.

Other Madison shelters, including Porchlight and The Hospitality House, are also keeping their doors open to people looking for safety from the snow.

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