Shelter Helps Homeless Survive Arctic Air

By Katie Hargitt

Published 01/28 2014 08:24PM

Updated 01/28 2014 11:50PM

More than 100 people will survive the over night cold by bedding down at a local shelter. One of them is Richard LaFollette.

"Like I say, I probably would be dead if I was out there. I'd be froze to death," said LaFollette.

The Light House Mission gives him a warm place to sleep in these frigid temperatures and a hot meal three times a day. Not too long ago, LaFollette was sleeping on a park bench.

"I got warmth. My belly is full," said LaFollette.

The Light House Mission usually feeds around 150 people each day. Since the arctic blast hit the Terre Haute area, that number has jumped to nearly 300.

"It has been crazy," said Light House Mission Director, Bonnie Wallace. "We have seen an increase in the number of people coming in to eat hot meals."

Wallace says their doors are open 24/7, although there are some rules if you want to stay. But since the cold settled in, they've loosened those guidelines.

"Anything that they needed, we've been letting people come in and stay because it's been so cold and so dangerously cold that we've really worried about people being out there," said Wallace.

When you come in to the Light House Mission you get clean blankets and sheets, a place to sleep and hot meals. Wallace says the few months right after the holidays are tough for non-profits. Donations decline and they struggle to make ends meet. They use up to 30 cans o food just to make one meal.

"This place is a God send, it's kept me out of the cold," said LaFollette.

The Light House Mission is located at 1450 Wabash Avenue.

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