Shelter opens early as cold temperatures approach - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Shelter opens early as cold temperatures approach

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A line of men wait to enter Catholic Charities' winter shelter Friday evening A line of men wait to enter Catholic Charities' winter shelter Friday evening
Robert Gobleski eats a sandwich after entering the Catholic Charities shelter Robert Gobleski eats a sandwich after entering the Catholic Charities shelter
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The dip in temperatures Friday night has forced Catholic Charities to open its winter shelter a week early.

For homeless Las Vegan David Cobo, a seat in a warm room means everything.

"Right now, it is getting very cold," Cobo said. "And another four weeks from now, it will be extremely cold."

Cobo and other homeless individuals know the streets are tough, but they're even tougher when you're up against Mother Nature.

As the mercury falls to the lowest point in months, Catholic Charities opened its winter shelter in downtown Las Vegas Friday night - more than a week earlier than the planned opening on Nov. 19.

"The temperatures are dropping so rapidly that November 19 isn't going to make it," said Phillip Hollon, vice president at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.

Hollon and his staff have been working extra hard getting hundreds of beds ready to go.

On a typical night, the shelter may take in 160 men, but on cold nights, that number can increase by another 180.

"We do not want to wake up tomorrow and find anyone who has died on the streets because of the extreme cold conditions and has not been able to get inside a shelter," said Hollon.

Outside, the line to enter the shelter was long. Several people could be seen using walkers and wheelchairs.

For them, a little heat and a peanut butter sandwich goes a long way.

"When I left the shelter this morning, I saw people sleeping on the pavement, and I realized how fortunate I was to have a roof over my head - some warmth you know," said Robert Gobleski, who is also homeless.

While Catholic Charities only houses men, there are other spots like Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, and Shade Tree for women and children.

Hollon added that Catholic Charities is in need of donations from the community, including money, goods, and toiletries. Click here for more information.

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