Fresno Mission needs your donations to provide warmth, shelter to homeless

On Monday, the Fresno Mission saw an overflow as beds were placed in additional rooms.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley residents are bracing for plummeting temperatures on Monday night.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Hanford issued a freeze warning for early Tuesday morning, with temperatures they say are unexpected this time of year.

For many, that freeze warning will mean turning up the heat and bundling up.

Those without a home, however, will likely seek shelter at the Fresno Mission.

They usually try to keep their guests warm by giving them blankets and coats, but the pandemic froze most donation drives this year, leaving their stock low.

On Monday, Valley resident Kim Lamore stopped by Fresno Ag in search of a heater ahead of the overnight freeze.

"I'm trying to look for the oil heaters, for the unexpected weather we're getting all of a sudden," she said.

She was not alone.

Employee Eric Castillo said all types of heaters and fire starters have been flying off the shelves.

"We've seen so many people coming in asking about heaters, we're getting phone calls all day," he said.

Those with fewer resources turn to the Fresno Mission for help, but they're also facing some challenges.

CEO Matthew Dildine said they usually hand out thousands of blankets, jackets, and supplies they receive through school and church donations, but the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced their supplies.

"Those places that help us build our winter stockpile haven't been open. We really do need those coats and socks," he said.

On Monday, the mission saw an overflow as beds were placed in additional rooms.

Dildine said they've obtained more beds after last year, when the mission was at a more than 200% capacity.

As the temperatures drop, he said they'll start seeing more who need help.

"Because it's winter, its not June, it's not easy to sleep outside. We're seeing those numbers begin to return," he said.
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