Local agencies go into ‘winter weather mode’ to battle early cold weather

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 17, 2014) – Several local agencies who serve the most vulnerable residents are making an early transition into “winter weather mode.”

Mid-December conditions in mid-November are forcing many to make the same transition.

With overnight temperatures expected to dip into the single digits overnight, volunteers with Meals on Wheels are checking in on clients to make sure they’re staying warm. 25-year volunteer Ginny Maher made sure to ask an elderly gentleman about his furnace when she dropped off his meal Monday morning.

“During this cold weather, it’s just important for us to make sure that you’re doing okay,” Maher told the man.

It’s a habit that public safety officials hope others around the city will adopt as well. Checking in on elderly, or otherwise vulnerable neighbors.

Indianapolis Metro Police Sgt. Kendale Adams said it’s important for residents to make sure their neighbors are staying warm. If they’re not, there are places to find help.

“There are a number of resources out here to help individuals,” Sgt Adams said. “Such as 211 Connect, or Red Cross. A number of shelters that will partner with you, a number of churches that will partner with you.”

If all else fails, you can call police and they will put connect you to the right agency to help, Adams said.

Area homeless shelters are already seeing the effects of the early onset of winter weather. The Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children, on East Michigan Street, is already over capacity. The permanent beds are all taken, and about two dozen women and children are expected to sleep on mats on a gym floor tonight.

Kondula Holloway and her two young boys have been without a permanent home for about a year. With her third child on the way any day, she finally started staying at the Wheeler Mission Womens shelter about a month ago.

“I like it,” she told FOX59. “It’s like saying with family. It’s not like being around a bunch of strangers.”

With help from the Wheeler Mission’s education programs, Holloway said her situation is only temporary. But with winter arriving early this year, she’s very thankful for the shelter the Mission provides.

“And I hate that someone is out there right now with kids and don’t have nowhere to go,” she said. “I just couldn’t imagine that.”

If you want to learn more about Connect 2 Help 211, click here.