The big bowl of chili and lasagna served today may be the only way for some of the homeless to warm up. Without places like the Good Samaritan Inn in Decatur, some say they don't know how they'd get out of the cold. The Inn's director, Kathleen Taylor says she served more than 300 meals over the weekend.
Just down the street the Oasis day center is a full house, and where Ronnie spends his afternoons. He's been coming here for five years and knows all too well the reality of being homeless. He says the homeless don't have many options.
"If you did a crime or something then you can get a cot and 3 meals, that's the only other place you could stay warm besides living in a shelter."
When it's this cold outside people say they are just looking for a warm place to spend the day. The shelter's director, Nancy Rude says it's hard to tell where they'll go when the center closes at five.
"It's really hard when we close at five to know that some people have no place to go and we just have to hope for the best." So with a hot meal and a place to spend the afternoon, those visiting the shelter say they find some comfort and warmth through friends.
The Oasis Shelter is always taking donations. Volunteers say they can use coats and blankets and they can be dropped off at the Northeast Community Fund on Water Street in downtown Decatur.
For more information about the shelter visit. http://www.heritagenet.org/contactus.htm