Benton Harbor leaders working to keep people in need safe

NOW: Benton Harbor leaders working to keep people in need safe

BENTON HARBOR, Mich – Benton Harbor leaders are working to keep residents safe during the frigid temperatures. 

With temperatures almost 20-degrees below zero local churches in Benton Harbor are opening their doors to the community and handing out items like pillows and food donated by the community to people in need. 

“It’s so important that we as a community come together,” Dr. Don J. Tynes, Pastor at Keep it Real Ministries in Benton Harbor said. 

Local churches across the area are opening up as warming centers for people in need. 

“My day today may not be like others my day actually included being in a warm home and making sure my kids are okay so the importance to think back on people that may not be that case is what drove me to get out,” Benton Harbor resident Toni Meridy said.  

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad said the deep freeze is very uncommon leading to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, and himself taking action to try to keep the community safe. 

“Low temperatures, low wind chills so much so that Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency, Sheriff Bailey with a road emergency and I as well declared a road emergency in the city so what we’re looking at is very unusual we’ve had some horrific winters but this exceeds a blizzard or just a snow storm because of the frigid temperatures,” Mayor Muhammad said. 

The life threatening temperatures are expected to last until Friday and local warming stations like Keep it Real Ministries are even offering people rides to people reaching out needing transportation to one of the local warming stations in the neighborhood. 

Benton Harbor Mayor Pro-Tem Duane Seats says the community needs to rally together for the next few days. 

“Make sure that your loved ones are good and even if they’re not your family members, your neighbors check on them and make sure they’re alright, make sure everybody gets through these next few days because if we get through these next two nights I believe everything will be alright,” Seats said. 

Click here to see the list of warming centers in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties.

Share this article: