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Environment & Climate Change

Michigan's homeless shelters prepare for overflow

Homeless shelters from Grand Rapids to Detroit are gearing up for a busy couple of days this week.

The major winter storm that's headed our way is expected to dump around a foot of snow across the state, and temperatures will be around 20 degrees for the next several days.

The city of Lansing is coordinating with its homeless shelters to make sure no one is turned away. Joan Jackson Johnson directs the city’s Community Services department: 

"What we’re doing is providing any extra resources the shelters may need - from food to blankets. We’ve authorized one shelter to go out and purchase some emergency air mattresses for their shelter because this is their first time expanding for the overflow population."

Johnson says they’re prepared to house people in a hotel if they run out of room at the shelters.

Marge Palmerlee heads up Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids. She says several area shelters there are teaming up to make sure the city’s homeless stay warm:

"We’re making sure that we have lots of hats and gloves and scarves and blankets to hand out to those that need them, because even being outside for a short period of time is going to be brutal."

Shelters across the state, including those in Detroit, Pontiac and Ann Arbor also say they’ve made preparations to house more people this week.

To find a shelter in your area, click here.

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