Memphians spend overnight hours ensuring others stay warm

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two good Samaritans spent the overnight hours helping people escape the cold in Downtown Memphis.

Memphians Frank Gotti and Casio Montez worked together to help those who didn't have a warm place to stay Wednesday night.

The two had cars full of blankets, sleeping bags, coats, and more items to hand out.

"It's too cold out here for nobody to care for them," Gotti said. "If you care, reach out and help. We can't get it done by ourselves."

Both stayed out for two to three hours, delivering more than 40 blankets and eight sleeping bags to the people they found without anything to protect them from the elements.

They said others helped by donating items for a good cause.

"That's just what we do," Gotti said. "We always try to help that's all we can do."

Gotti said they felt a need to come out after officers started a death investigation near City Hall, where they believe the cold may have played a factor.

"It hurt a lot of people in the city that we heard about that lady that died in front of City Hall, that's just heartbreaking," Gotti said.

Both Gotti and Montez said they're just trying to make a difference for someone who otherwise would have had to fend on their own.

"It's just sad that there are so many people in this city and not enough love," Gotti said.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said since Friday, the warming center at Benjamin Hooks Main Library has hosted 559 people. Wednesday night, they served 92.

Montez said he hopes their actions here will encourage other Memphians to step up.

"It's the smallest thing that counts, so have a heart, help us help them," Montez said.

City of Memphis officials said the warming center will be in a new location Thursday night. The warming center will be at the Pipkin Building at 940 Early Maxwell Boulevard from Thursday 9 p.m. to Friday 8 a.m.

For more information, call OEM at (901) 636-2525.

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