By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Salvation Army is equipped to help the hundreds of homeless men and women who come to them for shelter a night, but since the cold snap hit, their space has become crowded.

When it gets this cold, the Salvation Army sends out teams to try and get the homeless to come inside and get warm. With the cold snap, many are taking the help leading to a crowded shelter system in the city.

“We help whoever comes to our door. Nobody gets turned away,” William Miller of the Salvation Army said. “We’ll probably have about 150 men in our overflow tonight and about 80 women in our overflow tonight.”

William Miller runs Harbor Lights and the overflow space at First Covenant Church in Downtown Minneapolis. He says the number of homeless people seeking shelter from the cold is on the rise.

What concerns him most is the number of women needing help.

“It’s not only women, its older women,” Miller said.

Miller says women over 60 are flocking to area shelters.

Hennepin County works closely with the Salvation Army, allowing them to take in the overflow, so no one is left out in the cold.

“When I got here, it was just a big eye opener to see like how much help that these people need and it made me feel good helping them,” Rachael Spingman, who is a part of Forest Lake’s Ranger and 4-H club, said.

These kids are volunteers and now know what it takes to bring a smile to the face of someone who just needs a hand up.

The Salvation Army is asking people to keep an eye out for anyone they may see on the streets with nowhere to go.

It, along with groups like St. Stephens and Catholic Charities, will help people find somewhere and warm to stay. Click here for more information.


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