Homeless shelter offers safety from bitter cold

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND): With overnight chills dropping to 30 below zero, the weather is getting dangerously cold out. It's a problem Decatur's homeless population knows all to well. 

When it gets this cold out, many of the homeless have just one thought.

"A warm place to stay for the day," LaDonna Daniel says. "I'm a little cold right now."

A warm place to spend the day, away from the sub-zero temperatures. That's exactly what Oasis Day Center is offering.

"We're open 365 days a year, doesn't matter how hot or how cold it is," Jeff Mueller, the director at Oasis, says. "We're here from 7 AM to 5 PM."

Oasis offers  a respite, snacks and resources. On Monday they had 200 visits.

"I've got men and women coming in with ice on their faces, it's terrible," Jeff Mueller says. "Even when they walk from here to another organization it's just so cold."

The aid doesn't go unnoticed.

"Without the oasis and the Good Samaritan, stuff like that, we'd all freeze or starve to death," Daniel says.

Oasis says you can do your part to help out by keeping care packages in your car. They suggest you fill them with water, snacks, soap, and toothpaste. This time of year, they encourage you include hand warmers, scarves, and hats.

"If for some reason you come across someone that is homeless or that is carrying a sign, as opposed to giving those folks cash, give them a care package," Mueller says.

For now, many are waiting out the bitter cold at oasis.

"It's a helping hand, a helping hand," Daniel says.

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