One Fresno shelter is helping the homeless stay warm this winter

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At 52 degrees a homeless person started a fire in Downtown Fresno. Other than blankets, it is one of few things to help keep the men and women who live on the streets warm.

As colder temperatures continue to push in, the Fresno Rescue Mission is preparing to open its doors for overnight stays.

"We believe that nobody should be on the streets when it's that cold," said Deborah Torres, Fresno Rescue Mission.

Thursday will likely be the first day the mission stays open since the temperature is forecasted to fall below 35 degrees.

Torres showed us some of the sleeping mats those wanting out of the cold can sleep on. Some of them will go in a room that has the capacity to hold more than 500 people.

"This whole room will be set up for the men's side and then around the corner we put up these curtains and the we'll have the women."

Women like Charlotte Lovejoy. She has used the warming center before and is planning to use it again.

"This place right here has always felt safety to me. I've slept here many many times, came here different times of the night and it didn't matter they didn't have any questions."

Chris Sutherland helps out at the Rescue Mission. He said the look from those who come here is touching.

"It's like they just had a Christmas and that's how valuable this place is."

Fresno Rescue Mission said everyone who stays the night will be offered breakfast and coffee in the morning. There will also be staff on standby to meet with those who want to discuss options for escaping homelessness or rehabilitation.

The Merced County Rescue Mission and other across the Valley are opening there warming centers Thursday too.
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