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Salvation Army offering shelter, warming centers as Oklahomans prepare for frigid temps

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Salvation Army is looking to offer shelter and warming centers as Oklahomans prepare for frigid temperatures this weekend.

The organization is preparing to meet an increased demand of individuals seeking shelter from the cold weather.

Shelters work hard to accommodate those in the most need such as the homeless or those who may not have adequate heating.

At risk are infants and older people, although people of any age or fitness level sometimes develop hypothermia symptoms.

“We are always prepared for an influx of people as the temperatures drop but with predictions of low teens to single digits, we expect a higher number of individuals who don’t have heat or are homeless to seek shelter. Although we have a set number of beds in our shelter, we utilize cots to meet the additional sheltering needs and ensure no one is out in the cold,” said Major Carlyle Gargis, area commander of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma.

The Salvation Army of Oklahoma City said nearly 3,300 individuals were provided shelter in 2015.

This week, staff members are setting up for more clients at their 10th and Penn facility as the temperature begins to drop and are prepared to go into a 24 hour emergency mode.

The Salvation Army will deploy their Night Watch team throughout the weekend to search out individuals who are out in the extreme temperatures and extend an invitation to stay at the shelter.

The Night Watch team ministers weekly to homeless camps around Downtown Oklahoma City bringing food, coats, blankets and other necessities.

“There’s no reason people can’t get out of the cold, because our doors are always open at The Salvation Army,” Major Gargis added.