CLEVELAND - The overnight drop-in center for the homeless at St. Malachi Church is usually only open on weekends.
However, temperatures have dipped so low in Cleveland this week, the center is open every night.
"We want to get our men and women out of their camp sites, off the streets, and be able to come in and get some heat," program director Carl Cook said.
The center, called the Metanoia Project, isn't a shelter. It's a warm place where people can get out of the cold, have a cup of coffee and a sandwich, watch TV or get some shuteye.
On Tuesday, members of the Great Commission Church stopped by with food, blankets, socks and gloves.
"We're seeing a lot of men and a lot of veterans and more and more women," Pastor Elizabeth Gonzalez said.
According to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, there are about 4,000 homeless people on any given night in Cleveland and a little more than 2,000 shelter beds.
"We're seeing people that live in tent cities," Pastor Gonzalez said, "and it's so cold they're telling me they're having a lot of problems with the flu, the pneumonia and we already have had reports of two of our people dying under the bridges."
A Homeless Stand Down is being held Saturday at Public Auditorium from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. where the homeless can get winter clothing and find out about services that are available.
For information on how you can help, contact the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless at www.neoch.org.
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