Residents, shelters brace for negative lows

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Negative low temperatures are expected yet again during the week of February 9th, adding to the frustrations of a winter that seems like it won't end.

"I have never recalled a winter this bad," said Indiana resident Mary Catherine Brown.

"It's a longer, colder winter than we'd like. It makes getting outside tough," said Indiana resident Laura Mishkin.

Another round of negative temperatures is enough to send some people packing.

"I'm going out of town," Brown laughed as she prepares for a trip to Florida. She knows she couldn't have picked a better time.

"Spur of the moment. I'm visiting my cousin who lives there," Brown said.

But those of us not lucky enough to get away will have to brave the chill. That includes the littlest of Hoosiers.

"This is [my daughter's] second winter but she is experiencing more snow and more play this year," Mishkin said while holding her 15-month-old daughter.

Others are happy to avoid playing in the snow at all costs.

"Negative 2, that's terrible," Brown said. "Luckily we have a nice warm home, so we've been able to weather it pretty well."

But a growing number of Hoosiers don't have that, instead finding shelter anywhere they can. That's where shelters like Wheeler Mission come in to help, but they are feeling their own pinch.

"We've seen a 5% increase in individuals we served," said Stephen Kerr with Wheeler Mission.

Wheeler Mission's shelters are filled to capacity this time of year.

Every bed is spoken for at their men's facility. While finding extra space is an issue, it's not the main issue.

"When those temperatures get that low, we're very concerned about men being out in the streets," Kerr said. "We'll make room, it's just getting them indoors."

Convincing people in need to come out of the cold is easier said than done, he said.

"We've had one death this year already due to the cold and that's something we want to avoid at all costs," Kerr said.

Wheeler Mission's Market Street men's shelter is scheduled to complete an expansion this summer.

They can always use donations. Click here for a list of what they need.