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Homeless Find Shelter In Cold Temperatures

January 7, 2014, 7:02 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Homeless Find Shelter In Cold Temperatures
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

With nearly record setting low temperatures, one group struggling the most is the homeless population in KELOLAND. Some say finding a warm place to go is a matter of how far your legs will take you.

The Good Shepherd Center is a safe haven for thousands living in the elements.

"You just got to get inside anywhere. Sometimes we even stand around the parking lot elevators just to stomp your feet and warm up again," Harry Sanderson said.

From reading books, drinking coffee or playing card games, many who come to the Good Shepherd Center have no where else to go. Sanderson knows this all too well.

"I have to go from here and then kill time until seven when the warming center at the Salvation Army opens," Sanderson said.

Sanderson has been homeless for many years. He says the warmer weather months aren't so bad, but this cold snap can be deadly.

"You get the pins and tingles and it feels like frostbite starting on you," Sanderson said.

It is the same feeling others without a home get, as well. That’s why The Good Shepherd Center's Executive Director Maria Krell keeps the light on and the coffee brewing.

"A lot of them do come in to warm up because they don't have a place of their own and they can only stay at the library for so long, if they are allowed in the library," Krell said.

Krell also says she makes sure everyone who walks inside is properly protected from the outside air.

"A lot of the people come down here and get that cup of coffee and warm up, get some hats, some mittens from us," Krell said.

As for Sanderson, he helps out anyway he can by shoveling snow or helping carry stuff inside because what he gets from The Good Shepherd Center is something irreplaceable.

"[It] saves my life," Sanderson said.

The Good Shepherd Center is opened Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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