Durham Rescue Mission deploys Operation Warm Shelter for the homeless

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A steady mist falls over the Bull City. Inside the Durham Rescue Mission off Main Street, the dining hall is full of men standing in line.

Some of those in line are benefiting from Operation Warm Shelter--an initiative to get those enduring homelessness off the streets while frigid temperatures pass through the area.

This a program advocated for by clients of the Durham Rescue Mission.

"They are here in the warm. They're thinking about their friends that are still out on the street, still under a bridge, still in the woods somewhere," Ernie Mills Jr. with the Durham Rescue Mission said. "They were worried about them."

So far, the Mission has sent out two teams to known streets, wooded areas, and bridges to invite those outside in.

Mills says so far this weekend, 51 people have been invited.

Mills also says that they will convert the dining room to a room filled with cots if they run out of rooms, so no one will be turned away.

"It's a nice warm place with clean linens in front of the fireplace," Mills said. "We'll light the fireplace."

Right now, the mission is aiding over 470 men, women, and children.

"Right now, we're 72 over over our average of 400," Mills said. "That puts a little pinch on the budget. That also puts a little pinch on the food supply."

The mission is always accepting donations.
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