NSO passes out specially designed coats to help the homeless - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

NSO passes out specially designed coats to help the homeless

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By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News

DETROIT (WJBK) -- When temperatures get dangerously low, the Neighborhood Service Organization goes to work to help Detroit's homeless, who are extremely vulnerable.

The NSO is a full service homeless operation.  Seats are limited, but inside is warm and the coffee is hot.  Tuesday, the shelter was at maximum capacity, but the calls kept coming in.

"We've received a number of calls asking for our assistance.  People living outside on grates outside the post office or downtown, they're asking us to go try to talk to them about coming in to get out of the cold because they fear that they could die," said Louis Hickson.

When its this cold, drivers for the shelter ride around town looking for the homeless, begging them to come in and get warm.  They offer survival gear for those that refuse the help.

The NSO passes out special coats to the homeless.  They were designed by a local woman to help keep the homeless warm.  They're insulated with the same materials used in cars.  You can snap the sleeves together and roll the coat up like a bag, and if you do have to sleep outside, the bottom of the coat folds out into a sleeping bag.

On January 29, Detroit's homeless men and women will be counted.  Search teams look under bridges and in abandoned buildings, any place people may try to keep warm.  The higher the number, the more funds available for warming stations and supplies, things in high demand every time the city sees a deep freeze.

If you would like to help, buying a few of these coats would really go a long way for the NSO.  You can get in touch with them by calling (313) 961-4890.

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