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Covington emergency shelter extends hours due to cold weather

Posted at 7:20 PM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 19:38:34-05

COVINGTON, Ky. -- Victor Meyers knows what it's like to sleep outside. 

Meyers and his wife experienced homelessness five years ago, and then he found the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky. Now, he's no longer homeless, but volunteers at the shelter.

"It's a way of me giving back, showing that I have been here, going through this, trying to communicate with some of the guests that are here now," he said.

The cold weather means that people who are homeless are using the Scott Boulevard emergency shelter to stay warm, and alive. Another local organization said a man experiencing homelessness in Cincinnati froze to death early Tuesday morning.

"A scarf and a hat is just not going to cover it tonight," Meyers said. "You need to get inside and you need to let someone take care of you."

Now the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky has extended its hours in order to help people who are homeless stay warm amid brutal cold temperatures. They will operate 24 hours a day until the weather breaks, according to Executive Director Kim Webb.

She said the man's death in Cincinnati was a big part of why they've extended their hours. 

"This is unusual for us," Webb said. "This is us doing the right thing."

RELATED: Tri-State homeless shelters coping with freezing temperatures

It costs the shelter $20 per night to house a person. They're 92 percent privately funded and donations make up the difference.

"We are going to kind of do the right thing and blow the budget," Webb said. "This means providing staff. This means putting resources that may not have necessarily been planned for."

People have been coming in, complaining that their fingers and toes hurt from the cold, according to Webb. They have 71 beds but aim to turn no one away. 

"We are concerned," Webb said. "This is deathly."

With the low temperatures, Webb said they're looking for more donations.

"We have a critical need for unisex pajama bottoms and sweatpants, believe it or not, as well as double-x and triple-x coats in that size for men," Webb said. 

Monetary donations are also welcome. For more information, visit the shelter's website.