HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The unseasonable cold is forcing many families to bundle up, but some people without a permanent home may have trouble staying warm.
Overnight stays at the Downtown Rescue Mission increased. About 140 men -- not counting women and children -- slept at the mission the past few nights.
Senior director of ministries Jay West says those who walk into the shelter need more than a place to sleep. They need winter gear, and lots of it, especially coats.
"We have a lot of people who do not stay at the mission," said West. "They just come and maybe get a meal, and they don't have coats. And some of the people who just stay overnight and leave, maybe they have a job during the day, maybe they're just on the streets during the day, they're not prepared for winter weather."
Whenever temperatures drop below 40 degrees, anyone can stay at the shelter overnight regardless of their history with the Downtown Rescue Mission.