Soon Siouxland will be bracing itself for our own cold, winter weather.
But not everyone will be able to keep warm this weekend.
Temperatures are headed to double digits below zero this weekend and for people without a shelter or money to heat their homes, it could be a dangerous situation.
That's why Gospel Mission always has its doors open, no matter the circumstance, and are ready to provide a warm bed and meal. "Many of the individuals that come here, get here, and they have lost their hope. Maybe a relationship has floundered... the situation with their family maybe its gone south or whatever so they're looking for some place that will treat that with them with respect and we hope to do that very thing," said Harold Youtzy Jr., who runs the shelter and also serves as a pastor there. On an average night, about 60 men will spend their nights at the Men's Shelter, but as the weather conditions worsen that number will rise. The Women's and Children Shelter will also see an increase from its usual number of 25 people.
But both shelters are prepared come any conditions.
MidAmerican Energy has a similar stance.
During severe winter conditions, the utility company works with families and individuals to keep their homes warm through two programs. "If the temperature reaches a certain degree, we will not shut off any customer's service. We will not perform disconnects when it is extremely cold outside. But these two programs, I Care program and LiHEAP program can help those customers pay for those bills that they otherwise may not have been able to," said Abby Bottenfield, a spokesperson for MidAmerican Energy. MidAmerica also says all customers can take steps to lower their bills during frigid weather like this by insulating your home and checking for drafts.
Back at the Gospel Mission, Harold Youtzy will make sure every person who walks in from the cold will get more than a warm meal and bed. "... their lives get changed, and they're able to go out and live productive lives in society. And that's our intention. we want them to go out, but we also want them to know there is hope," said the 35- year veteran of the Gospel Mission.
Gospel Mission will be open 24 hours this weekend and will have room for anyone looking for shelter. If you'd like more information on the Gospel Mission, call 712-255-1119. And for more information on the two programs provided by MidAmerican Energy, visit http://www.midamericanenergy.com/service18.aspx and/or http://www.midamericanenergy.com/service9.aspx.
If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about it.BEdme@siouxlandnews.comfacebook.com/beairshelle.edme OR twitter.com/BeairshelleKMEG