When most businesses shutter their windows due to weather, the folks at Faith Mission keep the doors open to help those in need.
Staff at Faith Mission said they are housing and feeding record numbers. They are full to capacity and meal numbers are topping 300 people at a time. Such a large need requires a lot of effort. John Welter, Executive Director of Faith Mission, said a lot of the credit goes to the staff who brave the cold air and hazardous drive to give to others.
"These folks have a great heart for broken people," Welter said, "and they're gonna try to figure out some way to get here." That, he said, takes someone special. "They don't work here unless they care about people. I don't pay a lot of money."
Despite the frigid temperatures, Welter said many people choose to head back out for the night after meals. They survive, he said, because they know how to layer and find shelter. but, those who do stay, said the are grateful for the work they do.
"I think they, you know, they treat you like family," said one woman sitting in the lobby. "You know, when you's lowly, they picks you up."
Though full to capacity, Welter said they never turn people away in this kind of weather. Even if it's on a mat in the chapel, he said, they will always find room. With the increase in need, Welter also said there are some staples they could really use. The mission is always in need of toilet paper and coffee, he said. Folks at Faith Mission also said they could use gloves, scarves and hats in this dangerous weather.
For those who are in need of a warm place to stay in the bitter cold, Welter had this to say: "We've always got clean blankets, we've got clean sheets, we've got a shower that's hot, and we've got towels and soap. And it's a place that's safe."
Tim Barnosky, Newschannel 6