As temperatures drop, there’s an executive order in New York State that when the temperature falls below 32 degrees, shelters must open their doors to take in the homeless.
On average, the Utica Rescue Mission takes in 40-45 people per night. That number increases by at least a dozen when cold weather hits.
The Utica Rescue Mission only takes in men, but other local organizations take in women and children.
“We've already discussed it with our emergency shelter staff, that we are going to be taking everybody in, whether we have to put them in a chair,” said Jim Haid, executive director of the Utica Rescue Mission. “If our beds are full, we’ll put them in a chair and we’ll work it out with social services in the morning. But we want to make sure everybody is off the street in these bitter temperatures.”
The Utica Rescue Mission works with police and Social Services officials to make sure everybody is off the streets during frigid weather.
The temperatures are expected to be below zero degrees for at least two nights this week.