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Niagara Gospel Mission: Bone-chilling temps mean crowded shelters, more food, higher costs


Fri, Jan 19th 2024 10:10 am

Submitted by Niagara Gospel Mission

Extreme temperatures, ice, snow and high winds have made already traumatizing circumstances for individuals experiencing homelessness even worse, said officials at Niagara Gospel Mission.

Executive Director the Rev. John Cooper Jr., said, “The unprecedented cold has affected homeless and impoverished people, and our efforts to help them, in every way. We are stretched to the limits and need community support.”

According to Healthline.com, extreme cold temperatures can cause frostbite and other dangerous complications in under 30 minutes. The very old and young are in even more danger. 

“Some of our guests have come in with symptoms of hypothermia, chilblains, respiratory problems and more,” reported Alex Goldsmith, emergency shelter manager. “Many are dressed inadequately for this weather, and were already suffering with colds, sinus issues, heart conditions, and arthritis. The weather is just making life that more miserable.”

Cooper said Niagara Gospel Mission needs donations of nonalcohol cold medications, cough drops, ibuprofen, lip balm and lotion.

“Our greatest need is for water-resistant gloves, new underwear and socks, coats, jackets and other cold weather gear,” he said. “You can’t imagine the suffering of someone who’s wearing wet socks or surviving without a coat or gloves in this weather.” 

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