Shelters fly white flags, urge homeless to get off the street; d - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shelters fly white flags, urge homeless to get off the street; donations needed

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's homeless shelters are preparing to accommodate more homeless people as dangerous cold moves into the area. 

White flags are out at homeless shelters across the city, meaning no one will be turned away.

They will fill to overcapacity if necessary to provide shelter from the bone-chilling temperatures that could fall as low as -8 degrees overnight, with wind chills of 15 to 30 below possible. 

Mayor Greg Fischer visited the St. John Center on Muhammad Ali Blvd. early Wednesday to draw attention to the plight of the homeless as the temperatures drop to deadly levels.

There are more than 8,000 homeless people in Louisville.

About ten percent of those are considered street homeless -- and many of them will try to ride out the cold on the streets. Mayor Fischer says this is the time for people to help each other.

"Whether it's donating to a center like this, shoveling a neighbor's driveway, or watching your friends' child so they can go to work even though school is out… these acts of compassion are what keeps the city working even in challenging circumstances," Fischer said. "They also make us feel warm inside, even when it's bitter cold."

Social service agencies and staff at the city's shelters have sent teams into the city to try and find those who are not yet in shelters.

Shelters are now accepting donations of hats, coats, gloves, scarves -- and, of course, cash.

One easy way to donate is to visit www.louhomeless.org and use the donate button to help fund homeless shelters and programs, including the White Flag Program. One option is to join the “Five Buck a Month Club,” which supports the White Flag Program.

To better highlight these acts of compassion, the Mayor announced a social media contest in which he is asking Louisville residents to share their “Snow Angel” stories. Using Instagram or Twitter, residents can nominate a friend, neighbor or coworker using the hashtag #LousivilleSnowAngel.

They can also nominate someone on Facebook, by posting on the mayor's page with that hashtag. www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer. Share as many details as possible -- and use photos if possible.

On Friday, the Mayor will choose an official “LouisvilleSnowAngel” winner, who will be able to bring their friends and family to enjoy the use of the Mayor's suite at Slugger Field for a day.

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