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Hope Ministries is planing to spend more than $50k this winter season

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Michiana has been hit with record frigid temperatures and homeless shelters around South Bend are not only getting ready to house more individuals through this winter, but they’re also ready to spend extra utility money.

Director of Ministry Partnerships at Hope Ministries, Steve Matteson says they’re looking to spend $55,000 more through these winter months.

“ I guess you can say that you budget for it, but you can’t really budget for it,” he says.

This is additional money that Hope Ministries has to come up with, “We’re not upset that we have to spend that money, but it’s an additional 55,000.”

That’s for added utilities to keep the center warm, paying their staff, light meals and coffee.

“365 days a year Hope Ministries serves meal,” says Matteson. “In this kind of weather we’re seeing more individuals from the community.”

Just last night a young man came in and because of their amnesty program he was able to see another day.

“Our staff was pretty confident that if he were not brought over to the warming center that night, given the conditions, he might not have been with us in the morning,” says Matteson.

But for some, like maintenance worker Donald Wilson, the cold never bothered him.

“We didn’t know it was going to be so ‘brr’, but you know we have to accept,” he says. “The only thing i can say is dress warm.”

With layers of clothes and a great attitude, Wilson was able to scrape off the ice near the entrance.

“Almost like you could ice skate on it, that’s how cold it was,” he explained. “As long as the snowman is not moving toward me, actually he’s probably too cold to even move!”

Over all, Matteson wants to make sure we are aware that this problem is not just during the winter months.

“The un-sheltered get attention this time of year because we’re worried about their physical safety but they’re unsheltered throughout the year and the expenses maintaining the center is always needed,” says Matteson.

Right now 30 men are staying at Hope and their weather amnesty program runs until March 1. Hope has also extended their hours to accommodate.

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