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Homeless shelters filling up; One pregnant women trying to survive the cold nights

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email
It may be sunny out during the day but the nights are below freezing, making it dangerous for those who have to sleep outside.

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LA CROSSE (WEAU)-It may be sunny out during the day but the nights are below freezing, making it dangerous for those who have to sleep outside.

Warming shelters and homeless centers are filling up. The cold is making it especially difficult for those who who are homeless with their family or have one on the way.

In La Crosse Linda-Jean Sykes has been homeless for a month. She eats at the Salvation Army every day for lunch and stays at the warming shelter at night, but she is also 15 weeks pregnant.

“I found out I was pregnant October 9th. It’s hard with this cold weather. I have to look out not only for myself but my baby too,” said Sykes.

After lunch at the Salvation Army Sykes waits outside the warming shelter sometimes for more than 9 hours, just to make sure she has a place to sleep for the night.

“It’s hard to stay warm. Every time I get sick I get cured and then I’ll be sick again,” said Sykes.

And she isn’t the only one who is homeless and looking out for a little one. Chris Clemmerson has a 3 year old daughter living with him at the Salvation Army.

“Everybody’s booked or getting close to booked and that makes it difficult for people,” said Clemmerson.

Mary Fitzpatrick, Director of the La Crosse warming shelter says they are full or very close to capacity every night. They can only take in 15, and it is first come, first serve. Fitzpatrick says that right now there’s more of a younger crowd.

“We’ve been averaging 14 a night, and there have been a few times in November that we had to turn people away,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said that they are always looking for more volunteers to help out at the shelter. They need 42 volunteers a week. Donations of food, blankets, and house warming items are always welcome.


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