NORTH ALABAMA (WHNT) — It is a cold Halloween night here in Alabama, with sub-freezing temperatures. For those with nowhere to go, local shelters in Madison and Morgan counties are preparing to help keep people warm.

In Madison County, the Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville says it will be open for those who need to escape the cold.

A spokesperson with the nonprofit says numbers have been steady, but they are expecting an influx of people due to the falling temperatures.  

Over in Morgan County, Hands Across Decatur Director Sue Terrell tells News 19 they’ve already seen an influx of people in need of their services since Tuesday morning.

“Last year…hot lunches, total, was 9,398. Before we add in the 1,000 hot lunches from this month…so far, we’re at 8,200,” said Terrell. “We’re going to be over 12,000 hot lunches for this year…and November and December are supposed to be also cold.”

Terrell says the demand has grown even before the cold as there has been an increase in Decatur’s un-housed population.

“There is pressure when the cold weather hits…even though we know sooner or later it’s coming. Right now, we don’t have any tents or sleeping bags. We got a couple of tarps in today. Unless it’s donated, we have to buy it. That’s what we have to do because we don’t get a lot of funding – our funding right now comes from the community,” added Terrell. 

While Hands Across Decatur will not open as an overnight shelter, it will open Wednesday morning at 8 to serve a warm breakfast.

“We’ll stay open longer hours if needed, and we’ll go on a case-by-case basis. We don’t know how many we’ll have…how many we won’t have…and the last thing we want to do is lose a person to the elements,” said Terrell. 

For more information about The Downtown Rescue Mission, click here. For additional info about Hands Across Decatur, you can click this link