Vincent House helps homeless families in need, local shelters nearing capacity

Frigid temperatures are falling over the area, and many Fort Wayne shelters are getting full.

Posted: Jan 1, 2018 12:00 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- With frigid temperatures falling over the area, many Fort Wayne shelters are at or nearing capacity. One local shelter has taken in the maximum 10 families they're able to house, but can still connect individuals with available resources.

"I had to make sure that my kids went somewhere where they were gonna be safe and I could continue to take care of them, and I knew Vincent Village was the place where I could bring them," said Terese Berry.

Berry and her two children were the most recent family taken into Vincent House. She's one of hundreds of people facing homelessness in Fort Wayne this Winter. Temperatures dropped below zero, and she found herself facing eviction with her family.

"I had applied for another apartment complex, which was in the process of accepting us, but was waiting on Fort Wayne Housing Authority," she said.

Berry was going to have to wait a month in the cold with her children, but was able to come to Vincent House last week.

Staff members at the shelter said they're among the shelters citywide that are reaching capacity.

"We have identified that we don't have enough beds, and one of the primary needs is for single women without children," said Denise Andorfer, of Vincent House.

Sally Segerson is the founder of Street Reach for the Homeless. She said this Winter is life threatening for those on the streets, in cars, and under bridges.

"We're immediately thinking about hypothermia, frostbite, and even death. So, everything that is needed is that which is going to keep a person alive and keep them safe," Segerson said.

Segerson said while there are warming centers and emergency shelters, such as The Rescue Mission, not everyone can make it there, so a donation of winter clothes could make a difference for men, women, and children in need.

She said people need sweatpants, jeans, heavy coats, hats, gloves, hand warmers, and blankets to help them survive the elements.

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