Warming stations and shelters bracing for bone-chilling temperatures

Columbus gears up for cold weather

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - We have at least one or two more days before we see a little warmer temperatures but until then, organizations are doing their part to make sure people won't have to sleep outside in 20 degree weather Thursday night.

On one of the coldest nights of the week, shelters and warming stations in Columbus are preparing for a long night to make sure people, especially the homeless, are warm and out of the cold.

It's going to get colder before it gets warmer. For the second day in a row, The Safe House is staying open all night, as a warming station, to give people a place to sleep and a hot meal. Workers there call themselves the Safe House gang, helping those in need.

"It means a lot if you can get one person and one person is worth all the tiredness," said Kimberly Jackson.

The Safe House is normally open 24 hours during extreme weather, leaving some to find other sleeping arrangements most nights.

"I got a couple sleeping bags and I keep a stash of food with me for the long nights. I pretty much keep warm like that," Shaheed Patton said.

Cots are ready for the men and women who will stay the night. Shaheed Patton, a Detroit native, is not always ready when it gets cold in Columbus.

"Its supposed to be warmer than it is in February down south. I was trying to leave the cold. I guessed the cold followed me," said Patton.

Not too far away, the Valley Rescue Mission is also making extra space Thursday night, since the temperatures will continue to dip.

"A lot of places in Columbus including Valley Rescue Mission that provides clothing, coats and different things to help you keep warm but still there's only so much you can out on," said James Warner.

Valley Rescue Mission will also extending their hours, so people can stay all of Friday.

"It's nice. Normally when you stay in a shelter during the morning you have to leave and find somewhere else to go and do. They have to clean up and get the shelter ready for the next day. Its so cold, were able to stay here all day again. Its cold so you don't want to be walking the streets in this type of weather, said Warner.

The Valley Rescue Mission says they will also feed people during the longer stay. also, the Safe House says they will close at 2:30 Friday afternoon.

Managers say 58 people came came to get out the cold last night, but they are expecting more people Thursday night.

While some of us are keeping warm inside and away from the below 40 temperatures, duty called for others to get out and battle the cold weather..

Workers from Best Landscaping made their round outside to businesses and homes in Columbus. Workers like Gary McDaniel started his day at 7 a.m. cutting grass and trimming trees. They went to about 5 locations working in the cold. McDaniels says regardless of the weather, there are no days off and the work must get done.

"Pretty cold but we're working, doing what we are supposed to do. It's just part of the job. Got to do what you got to do. Just bundle up and keep going. This morning, boy, it was real cold, the wind was blowing," McDaniel said.

If you tried to get your car washed, the 4th Ave Car Wash on Veterans Parkway was closed for business Thursday only. The answering machine said they were didn't open because of the cold temperatures and they will reopen Friday.

Copyright 2015 WTVM. All rights reserved.