Nebraska’s largest homeless shelter is packed. Tim Sully with the Siena-Francis House in Omaha says they have 392 beds and have been housing more than 500 people since the cold spell started. He says people are sleeping on mats on the floor or in chairs but they always have room for a few more.
Sully says, “Our staff does these things called perimeter checks. They go out on the hour to secure the campus but to also look for people who may be out and about and maybe ill dressed for the weather. In the last two or three days we found a few women and a few men. I don’t say this often but I do think we probably saved a couple of lives because of that over this past weekend.” One man was taken to a hospital to be treated for frostbite but should recover.
Sully says their day shelter is very crowded as well because people are not leaving the warm facility like they typically do because of the brutal cold. When people leave they like to make sure they are dressed appropriately. Sully says now they are in need of warm coats, sweatshirts and other thermal clothing for layering. They also could use single bed sized blankets to help keep those staying at the shelter warm.
The shelter is at 1111 North 17th Street and their dock is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.