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Mid-Michigan shelters opening more space for people to escape cold weather

Nobody is being turned away from Flint’s three largest homeless facilities
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 7:15 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The bitter cold in Mid-Michigan this week means warming centers are doing what they can to keep the homeless warm.

The cold weather can be dangerous, so several homeless shelters want everyone to know their doors are open. Combining that with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic can mean some especially tough challenges.

”Some people are a little more cavalier about it, so we want to have it set up so it’s difficult for them to be in close proximity to each other, and some people want that comfort of knowing that someone’s paying attention to that,” said Dallas Gatlin, the executive director of Carriage Town Ministries in Flint.

He said the pandemic has created some challenges in terms of capacity limitations, but no one is turned away because they work closely with other homeless shelters like My Brother’s Keeper and Shelter of Flint.

Carriage Town at normal capacity can take in 136 men, women and children. Because they are at 50% capacity, the organization is able to work with other shelters.

Gatlin said Carriage Town has been a little below capacity during the pandemic. Not every bed is made and chairs are spaced 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing.

It’s a new normal most people are used to by now. But some people want extra reassurance that they can not only stay warm but also safe and healthy.

“We’re hopeful for the day when we don’t have to do all these extra things,” Gatlin said. “But until that happens, we’ll continue to gather at 10:00 and thank God for taking care of us yesterday and praying again that he takes care of us today.”

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