Families escape bitter temperatures with the help of local shelters

- Temperatures this low make it dangerous to be outside for too long and for those who don't have a warm place to call home there are places to escape the bone-chilling cold.

"It's a really good place," Saadia Brace.

It's not a phrase the 27-year-old mother of four Saadia Brace ever thought she'd say about a shelter.

"It's not bad. They really look at you as family. They help you with a lot," she said.

After staying at Detroit's Cass Community Social Services center on Webb Street for the last three weeks, Brace can't imagine being stuck out in the cold.

"You don't want to just be out in the cold... have no family or friends," she said.

The warming center opened in November to women and children, many in desperate need as the temperatures drop to single digits.

"We see a high number of people that are coming in. And we need to be ablet to make sure that we have space for them," said Lauren Licata of Cass Community Social Services. 

The warming center is open every day from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Lunch is served daily for anyone, homeless or not. 

Licata says as the temperatures dip, many homeless people who have stayed in abandoned homes now have nowhere to go. She says even if every single bed here is full you will never, ever be turned away.

Though the city facilities that double as warming centers are closed this week for the holiday, there are a lot of emergency warming centers and shelters open, including shelters for single men.

Licata and others are hitting the streets, trying to get the word out.

"Your pride. Don't let it get in the way - because everybody needs a little help sometimes. We all can't do it by ourselves," Brace said.
 

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