For Little Rock homeless population, cold snap could be deadly

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Van is opening doors for people without shelter to get them out of the cold weather.

So far, the organization has opened 3 times this year and they’re ready to take in as many people as they can.

The Van’s Executive Director Aaron Reddin prepared all Monday by putting out mats and blankets.

“We have someone keeping watch all night to make sure that everyone’s safe,” Reddin said.

He’s hoping to provide shelter for anyone who needs it.

It may not appear to be much, but it means a lot to those who would otherwise have to sleep outside.

“It’s really just the basic accommodations just to get in and be warm,” Reddin said.

The shelter opens whenever the temperatures become unsafe.

“For many years here in central Arkansas we’ve been opening emergency shelters during inclement winter weather. We open if it’s below 32 with precipitation or if it’s dry with sustained temperatures below 25,” Reddin said.

They have a location at Levy Church of Christ and a location at their Little Rock office.

“The volunteers have been getting cots together and blankets and everything and same here, we’ve got volunteers getting mats ready, blankets ready,” Reddin said.

The best way to get inside is to call ahead of time at (501) 955-3444.

The Parkhill Christian Church and Second Baptist Church will be providing transportation to both locations.

“As of our last unsheltered count in central Arkansas, we found over 500 almost 600 people who were unsheltered,” Reddin said.

There are lots of people and few shelters.

“There’s just a lack of options for people to get inside,” Reddin said.

The shelter runs on volunteers and donations.

Anyone wishing to help can click here.

“You can send us a note if you want to help in the future, you can make a contribution there to keep the heat rolling, keep the fuel in the buses,” Reddin said.

RELATED: Judsonia hairstylist gives free haircuts for recovering addicts

RELATED: ‘She feels like a mom’: This school secretary collects food to feed hungry students

RELATED: City of Little Rock looking for ways to reduce waste, litter of single use plastic bags