GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – As temperatures drop, a Glens Falls organization is opening its doors in an effort to keep community members safe and warm.
Kim Cook is the president of The Open Door, an organization that helps those in need.
Cook said she couldn't sleep at night knowing there were people in need out in the cold. The thought of people not having a place to stay drove her to open a warming site in Glens Falls.
Braving subzero temperatures and relentless wind is normal for the people Cook interacts with.
"It is scary for me," she said. "It's way outside of our comfort zone, but for some of them it's normal life. They're just used to it. It's been years. For others, they are newly homeless and they're scared."
The Open Door opened a warming site stocked with cots, blankets and food with the help of the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, United Way and local volunteers.
"We don't know how many we're going to have, but it's nice to know that we're finally going to have a place here in Glens Falls for our homeless people to be in safe out of the cold," Cook said.
For those like Jonathon Bolton, it's a lifesaving effort.
"Without this place, I would be on the streets tonight finding somewhere to sleep and digging out of garbage cans to eat," he said.
It's a terrifying reality Cook hopes to stop.
"I hear all kinds of stories where they are camping in the woods or sleeping behind a dumpster," she said.
But at least for Bolton, that won't be the case any night this week, and he couldn't be more thankful.
"The men and women that volunteer their time are very wonderful," he said.
The shelter will be open every day it is 10 degrees or colder, or if there's a foot of snow. The Open Door hopes to establish a permanent facility in the area.
You can find out how to donate here.
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