Despite cold temperatures, area shelters at max capacity

BALTIMORE - Baltimore's code blue alert simply means the freezing temperatures combined with the wind chill are a bigger risk for cold injuries and even death. But not everyone on Baltimore's streets is able to escape the bitter cold.

"Right now I have five layers of clothes on and I am still freezing. My hands are ice cold, my ears, my nose," Kari Mihm said.

Mihm hasn't had a place to call home for four months. She relies on a cardboard sign that reads, "Homeless. Please help. God Bless." pleading for enough money for food. But even a full stomach, she says, won't keep her warm.

"Right now, my hands are freezing. There ain't no hand warmers, nothing. Gloves, they don't work," she said.

Not far up the road, the Salvation Army shelter is at maximum capacity.

"We're trying to do the best we can. But still, there's not enough room. So there will be some who will find no room at the inn, if you will," said Major Gene Hoggs, with the Salvation Army of Central Maryland.

The Salvation Army Booth House on Calvert Street is currently housing nearly 80 people and 18 families. Anyone coming in now is added to a two year waiting list.

"The issue is life. If you want to live, you need to come in and keep warm. That's just the way that we're created, we need that warmth. The difficulty is, is having enough space," Major Hoggs said.

Single father of three, Tyrone Payne, has called the shelter home for seven months.

"We'd be on the streets. You know, and it's hard. It's really hard. It means a lot that they've allowed us to come here, me and my family," he said.

He said now he has a roof over his head, food, and a bed for each of his children.

But for those out in the cold during the winter months, just a metal bench and hopefully a blanket is enough to keep warm.

The Salvation Army provides meals to the homeless everyday and says they can always use the help of extra volunteers.

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