Homeless women believe shelter saved them from freezing to death

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) Angela Patton says the Salvation Army is most likely the reason why she made it through the night.

She says if they didn't open their doors to the homeless, she would've spent the night under a bridge in dangerously cold temperatures.

"I probably would've frozen to death if I wasn't here," said Patton.

She isn't the only one who is dodging the bitter cold to stay alive.

Pam Dixon also spent Friday night at the Salvation Army’s shelter. She says she was forced out on the streets due to circumstances beyond her control.

"I was in a very, very abusive relationship that caused me to be homeless again, got put out in the cold," she said.

With temperatures dropping below freezing, she worried how she would make it through the night.

"There are so many dangerous things that can happen. It's just not the cold weather; there are other things that can happen. So places like this are a gift from God," Dixon said.

Salvation Army officials say there are dozens of women and children staying with them and they are full to capacity.

But they aren't turning anyone away, so they even had eight women sleeping in the lobby overnight.

Usually the Salvation Army allows visitors to stay from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

But since it was bitterly cold outside Saturday they didn’t make anyone go back out in the cold.

Patton said that lets her know someone cares about her, “It makes me feel good to know I can sleep somewhere and have a blanket and pillow to sleep. If I couldn't I'd be wondering where I would sleep and if I'm going to die."

Dixon said, "This place is awesome, they do have a heart."

They say that's keeping them warm in more ways than one.

Because the Salvation Army is serving so many people, they say they're running low on blankets and winter clothing and they need donations.

Below you can find a list of emergency shelters and warming centers that will be open to the public.
24-hour emergency shelters (7 days a week):
As a standing policy, when temperatures are below freezing, the Hope Center, Salvation Army and MASH Drop Inn Center are open 24 hours a day. People seeking relief from the elements may come at any time and are not required to leave.
• Hope Center Emergency Shelter for Men, 360 W. Loudon Ave.
• Salvation Army Emergency Shelter for Women and Children, 722 W. Main St.
• MASH Drop Inn Center (youth 0-17 yrs.), 536 West Third St.
Daytime Warming Centers:
• Catholic Action Center, 400 E. 5th St., daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Dunbar Recreation Center, 545 N. Upper St., special extended hours Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
• New Life Day Center, 224 North Martin Luther King Blvd., special extended hours Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Senior Citizens Center, 1530 Nicholasville Rd., special extended hours Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Lextran will offer free bus rides for individuals going to an emergency shelter or warming center on Monday and Tuesday.
Citizens can call Lextran at (859) 253-4636 to get the location of the nearest bus stop.
People in need of shelter or other human service assistance may call 2-1-1.
All citizens are encouraged to check on their neighbors and loved ones, especially the elderly and people with special needs.

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