Freezing temperatures are putting a financial strain on the Arlington Life Shelter as people seek refuge from the cold.
The downtown Arlington shelter, which typically serves 85 people a day, is currently housing about 120 men, women and children each night, Executive Director Becky Orander said. Some are families that aren’t homeless but don’t have heating at their houses or apartments, she said.
“At this point, if people stay outside, they are freezing to death,” Orander said.
Besides needing donations to pay for things such as medication and socks and shoes, Orander said the shelter is desperate for essentials such as towels and washcloths, snacks, disinfectant, paper goods, blankets, coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Some people have been leaving the shelter during the day wrapped in donated blankets because they don’t have coats to stay warm, she said.
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“We have to help our own,” said Orander, urging residents to check their closets for winter wear that could be donated. “It’s life or death.”
Most of the Arlington Life Shelter’s budget comes from donations.