Shelters fill to capacity as temperatures drop below freezing - - Jackson, MS

Shelters fill to capacity as temperatures drop below freezing

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - When the doors opened at New Jerusalem's gymnasium at 6:00 p.m. Thursday dozens are were ready to get in out of the cold.

"(It has) been a blessing because if I had not come here we'd probably be froze," said shelter client David Womack.

The south Jackson shelter provides cots, food and transportation by JTran bus.  When other area shelters fill to capacity the overflow comes to New Jerusalem.

"Now we've been up here about the last three nights and I like it.  It's a real good place and they are doing a really good thing for everybody," said shelter client Ricky Holston.

More than 100 people sought shelter at the south Jackson location Wednesday night.  Shelter organizers expect that number to grow as the temperatures continue to plummet, but the shelter has exhausted much of their resources and is in need of monetary donations.

"We're just looking to hopefully be able to continue to keep the lights and the gas on especially with the weather as it is," said shelter spokesperson Eliza Garcia.

While folks seek warmth and shelter inside, crews are working to make sure everyone will stay safe outside.  The Mississippi Department of Transportation has already taken action to prevent slippery driving conditions on bridges and overpasses.

"We did put some material that is supposed to help prevent the icing of bridges and we got all the bridges in Hinds County covered," said maintenance supervisor Donald Wash.

Transportation experts offer this advice when you hit the roadways, "Please slow down.  Buckle up and slow down.  When approaching bridges, if you're not sure if it has ice on it, just proceed with caution," said Wash.

 If you are interested in helping New Jerusalem's shelter call (601) 720-5078.

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