Emergency Shelter of NKY open 24 hours due to bitter cold temps

Emergency Shelter of NKY open 24 hours due to bitter cold temps
(Source: emergencyshelternky.org)

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - As the cold temperatures are setting in, lines at the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky are getting longer. On Wednesday, the shelter announced it will be open 24 hours a day for as long as needed.

"In Northern Kentucky, we are the only shelter with no waiting list," Executive Director Kim Webb said.

Webb said the cold weather can create a life-threatening situation for people who live outside or in homes without utilities.

"This is doing the right thing. This is waking up in the morning and saying, I get to leave the confines of my warm house and get in the street and get my car and recognizing that people don't have that option," Webb said.

Once the guests get inside, Webb has clothes available, and volunteers give people a hot meal. Webb said she also tries to give everyone something many of us take for granted -- a bed.

"We're going to put out some yoga mats. We will find a place for them and just hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed," Webb said.

In a Facebook post on their page Wednesday, shelter officials said they are looking for daytime volunteers to help between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

They could also wrote that they use clothing donations (men's size M, L, XL, XXL sweatpants, PJ bottoms and coats size XXL or larger), and lunch for 40-50 people that will be needed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Fort Mitchell Chief of Police Andrew Schierberg and the Mayor Jude Hehman are also working to fundraise for the shelter.

The chief wrote in a Facebook post:

"So, I need a little help. The Mayor is trying to out do me - all for a good cause. I'm raising money for the Emergency Shelter of NKY and so is he. I have about a week of a jump start, but he has a pretty extensive network, so I want to increase my lead. $20 provides shelter for one person for one night. With the temperatures falling to single digits this week, a warm place to sleep becomes even more critical. Can you help? And if a monetary donation isn't your thing, the shelter could use sweat pants, pajamas, or Long Johns in unisex sizes m, l, and xl. If you want to make an item donation and can't make it to the shelter, feel free to drop off the item to one of our friendly Fort Mitchell Police Officers."

The city of Fort Mitchell wrote in a Facebook post:

"The Emergency Shelter of NKY needs our help! With low temperatures they are looking for thermal underwear, socks and sweatpants. Monetary donations are always welcome and can be dropped off at the Fort Mitchell City building. Mayor Jude Hehman will be taking all donations to the Shelter tomorrow."

You can access the police chief's fundraiser here.

If you have any questions of can help contribute you can call the shelter at 859-291-4555.

The Cincinnati Recreation Commission announced on Thursday all 22 CRC recreation centers will be open during regular business hours to anyone who is in need of a place inside to get warm.

The Emergency Center gets 92 percent of its $300,000 budget through private donations. Each of the guests costs about $20 a night.

The Kentucky Housing Corporation said the total number of homeless is just over 4,000, but who and why they are there might not be what you expect.

"We are seeing more and more individuals who have jobs that are either underemployed or have jobs but simply can't afford to live. Throw in the fact that 60 percent of our jobs in Northern Kentucky are not accessible by public transportation," Webb said.

The shelter's winter runs from November to March.

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