Muskegon Rescue Mission reports surge of unhoused seeking shelter as temps drop
With plunging temperatures coupled with several inches of new snow over the weekend, the Muskegon Rescue Mission says it has been flooded with individuals needing shelter.
According to a press release from Muskegon Rescue Mission, prior to Saturday’s snowstorm, the non-profit had already seen an influx of roughly 30 additional persons per night needing shelter from the cold.
After the snowstorm hit, that number rose dramatically.
“Last night we had 150 people in our shelters, because of the brutal weather, and we expect that number to grow this week," Muskegon Rescue Mission executive director Dan Skoglund said.
The number of unsheltered persons is on the rise in Muskegon County, although officials say its hard to know just how many are out there.
Jamie Hekker is the Community Engagement Coordinator with Muskegon County’s Department of Public Health and the chair of the homeless continuum of care.
“There are more people that are unsheltered or unhoused than you would think in Muskegon County,” Hekker said. “But that also doesn’t tell the whole story at all of the number of folks that you can’t see or you can’t find, so that is a really big concern because we know there are so many people that are struggling with housing right now.”
On January 25th, Muskegon County conducted a survey to get more concrete data as to the number of individuals who may be homeless and in need, though the numbers won’t available until April.
Meanwhile, Skoglund says, the doors at Muskegon Rescue Mission are always open.
“No one is every turned away because of capacity. We have space,” he said.
Emergency shelters and warming centers are available at the Men’s Shelter, located at 400 W. Laketon Ave., and the Women’s and Family Shelter, located at 1691 Peck St. Warm beverages and hot meals are provided.