A Place for the Homeless in Hastings
When arctic temperatures move across Nebraska most just stay inside, but for some the only option to warm up is to find a homeless shelter.
Local shelters tend to see an influx of people when bad weather hits. Kearney Crossroads was full when NTV checked in on Tuesday but Hastings Crossroads still had 42 beds available and they planned to keep their doors open.
"Two bags I came with were this red bag and this black one, I don't know if you can see it right here on the floor -- those two bags I came here with but a lot of this stuff in here I got from Crossroads," explained Dontrell Williams, who has lived at the shelter for the last three weeks.
The shelter is where people also come to get back on their feet. "I would say I am a better person because they help you with a lot of stuff like drug addiction, alcohol abuse, physical abuse just a whole bunch of stuff -- they help a lot," said Ben Schutte, who has been living at Crossroads for a few months.
The shelter provides basic life skills and helps people to apply for jobs. "I was kind of broken when I came in here but they help pick up the pieces and put them back together," explained Schutte.
"Crossroads is a place where you can start over and that's what I am doing, starting over," said Shannon Gable, who has been living at Crossroads for a little over a year.
They also do community service, have scheduled meal times and Positive Restart Program. "There are programs that they can place you in that like you first volunteer and then they help put you in jobs," said Schutte.
"We have had people for a year, maybe two years. We have had people work through the program that actually work for us now so we not only believe in what we do but they get help and they help us too," said Jerry Bumgardner the executive director of both the Kearney and Hastings Crossroads.
Some said the shelter has restored hope for them once again. "It gave me hope because most times people don't have a helping hand someone to reach out to help them and thank God there is a place like Crossroads," said Williams.
Crossroads said they can pick up people who are stranded in the cold and do not have anywhere else to go and they don't want anyone to be forced to battle the chilly weather. There are emergency shelters set up while Crossroads finds a place for people.
The Salvation Army also has warming centers for those in need around the tri-cities as well as extra gear for the outdoors for those who need it.
The warm centers provide hot beverages and some have meals and stay open during regular office hours.