Families head for shelter during cold spell - WNEM TV 5

Families head for shelter during cold spell

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Surviving a night in this frigid cold with nowhere to go is a real-life nightmare.

Just ask Shamicka Coleman.

"A 9, 6, 3, and a 2-month-old," said Coleman.

But on Thursday night, she doesn't have to worry about the dangerously cold temperatures outside or how she'll keep her family safe.

They're calling a room home at the Shelter of Flint.  There is an estimated 3,400 homeless people in Genesee County alone and only about 200 shelter beds.  At the Shelter of Flint, the average age is 10 years old.

"Our call volume just keeps increasing as the days get colder and longer and longer, and we're seeing lots of families come in," said Liz Ruediger.

Ruediger is the director of development at the Shelter of Flint.  She said the long cold winter has meant a full house nearly every night.

"For those people who don't have the resources, it's just, it's really important for those people to find a warm place tonight, whether if it's us, another shelter, a warming center in town, they've got to come inside," said Ruediger.

But on Thursday night, Coleman and her children are counting their blessings, knowing they'll be safe and warm.

"With being out there, and if I didn't have anywhere to go with my kids, then that would be real hard to even try to make it through that," said Coleman.

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