GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Dealing with frigid temperatures for even a short time is a challenge this week.
But, some people fight the cold all the time. Grand Rapids organizations are reaching out to the homeless to offer warmth during this cold stretch of weather.
There are places around West Michigan where people sleep outside, year round. Heartside Ministries teamed up with Grand Rapids Police earlier this week to check on and count the number of homeless individuals during this cold spell.
There are a number of shelters in Grand Rapids that offer a warm place to sleep at night. The problem is the current cold temperatures aren't safe during the day either.
Mel Trotter Ministries has created an alternative, the day center located at Williams and Ionia Street. It's one of the only places in the city where the homeless can go on cold days.
Rev. Chico Daniels, CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries, says, "We're in the business of saving lives. If you look outside right now, no one in their right mind wants to be stranded out there in the cold at this time, so it's a warm place. There's coffee and cocoa, so people can come and it's a humane place to come and get away from the elements."
While people are at the Mel Trotter Day Center, they are also offered all sorts of resources, counseling, and company.
Rev. Daniels says this also helps keep people who are homeless from using public places like libraries as shelter
To make sure people staying on the streets know that these resources are available, a group with Mel Trotter walked the streets every night this week to gather any one they see stranded in the cold.