Red Cross shelters see increased need because of extreme cold

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Indianapolis, IND. (Jan. 6, 2014) – Shelters open for those who need a warm place to stay saw an increase in that need overnight Sunday and into Monday morning.

The Red Cross shelter on East 10th Street in Indianapolis had about 75 people staying warm by 10 a.m. Monday.

State-wide, more than 100 Hoosiers spent the night at a shelter through the Red Cross, said Jordan Whitt who handles disaster public affairs for the Red Cross.

“These temps that are happening right now, it’s absolutely life threatening, especially for older folks or younger kids. It’s something that you don’t want to mess around with, you don’t want to wait it out. You absolutely want to call as soon as possible,” Whitt said.

People who need somewhere to stay can call the Red Cross at 888-684-1441.

That’s what Vicki Brown did when she and her two children started feeling the effects of a home without power.

“We woke up and we were freezing and I was like, well the electric had told us that it would take 24 to 48 hours before they would be able to get around to us or anybody as of that point,” said Brown. A Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy dropped the Brown family off at the Red Cross shelter downtown.

Marion County is under a Travel Warning which means only emergency personnel and street-clearing vehicles can be on the roads. Anyone who is out for recreation or nonessential travel could get a ticket, a Class B misdemeanor.

Mayor Greg Ballard urged all schools and businesses to remain closed through at least noon Monday. The Mayor’s Action Center is also providing transportation to shelters. That number is 327-4MAC.

Indy Parks has several area warming shelters at city parks that remained open Sunday night into Monday.

Daytime warming shelters will open at 9 a.m. Monday through the Salvation Army. Those locations are: The Salvation Army Fountain Square Community Center – 1337 Shelby Street, The Salvation Army Center City Corps – 234 E. Michigan Street, The Salvation Army Eagle Creek Community Center – 4400 N. High School Road.