Shelters open doors for free as temps drop - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelters open doors for free as temps drop

For people not wanting to stay in shelters, HUB gives them blankets to stay warm. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) For people not wanting to stay in shelters, HUB gives them blankets to stay warm. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Police were called to a vacant lot off Horn Lake Road on Thursday where they found a man frozen to death, just two days after a homeless man was found dead at a homeless camp off Jackson Avenue.

"The medical examiner is currently investigating an unidentified body as a possible death with hypothermia as a contributing factor. If hypothermia was a contributing factor, it could be Shelby County's third death due to cold weather," said Elizabeth Hart with Shelby County Health Department.

On Tuesday, a man died of hypothermia in Forrest City, Arkansas.

Kelsey Johnson is the associate director of the hospitality HUB downtown. The HUB is a one-stop shop of resources for homeless people seeking shelter, storage and a place to send mail.

"Most of the people who are coming aren't needing somewhere to stay," said Johnson.

The Union Mission, Salvation Army and 8th Street shelters, who normally charge for a night's stay, opened their doors for free all week. However, that doesn't mean that everyone will take advantage.

Roger Lowery says he can't sleep in large crowds, and is afraid to take shelter. Instead, he sat on a corner out in the cold, despite the options available to him.

It's the very problem Johnson says agencies from across the city are trying to prevent.

Johnson added, "No on should have to spend the night outside tonight."

There are warming stations open across the city and the shelters are free on Thursday night.

Johnson says if they come across someone who refuses to take shelter, they provide them with multiple blankets and hand warmers.

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