Mid-Michigan homeless shelter prepares for winter months - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan homeless shelter prepares for winter months


(10/23/13) - When it gets cold, sleeping outside is dangerous.

Some local homeless shelters expect to reach capacity this winter.

Now is the time that homeless shelters are starting to see an increase in the number of people who come looking for a place to stay warm.

We spoke with a homeless man who is preparing for the winter.

"It's a safe clean atmosphere, I can come here and not worry about being on the street," said Stephen Ulrich.

Ulrich has been living in and out of the homeless shelter for the past year. He came to Carriage Town Ministries in Flint to turn his life around after being addicted to drugs.

"I needed to come here to get sober and to get my life back on track," he said.

With the colder days ahead, many people like Stephen will be looking for a place to rest their heads.

"You can't survive out in the cold, that's why a place like this is so important for the community because without Carriage Town, I would probably be living in an abandoned home somewhere," he said.

The Carriage Town Ministries in Flint averages at least 115 people a night, including children.

The shelter is preparing for some of its busiest months.

"Normal for us is for walk-ins and telephone calls to begin accelerating and we are seeing that this time of year, it happens every year and we're definitely seeing that as people are looking to plan for having a safe place for their kids," said Dallas Gatlin, the executive director.

Stephen remembers when he had to sleep out on the streets during the winter moths.

"I slept by the river for two nights. It was terrifying because you're down by the river, you can't really sleep because you're sitting on a cold metal bench, it's no way to live," Ulrich said.

Gatlin says his shelter does have an extra area where they will place people if they reach capacity.

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