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Emmaus Committed to Keeping People Safe During Extreme Cold

The following is a statement from Emmaus, Inc., about this week’s extreme cold:

According to the National Weather Service, the region is in a wind-chill advisory until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning (Friday, Dec. 29).  This means the wind-chill is low enough that it poses a threat to human health and life if adequate protection is not taken against hypothermia and frostbite.

Emmaus is always committed, especially during extreme weather conditions, to finding a place for each person that comes to our door. Last night, Mitch’s Place, our emergency shelter for adult individuals, housed an additional 10 people and we were able to connect another family needing shelter with our friends at Veterans Northeast Outreach Center.

Emmaus will remain open during the day so that none of our guests have to go out in the cold and is bringing in additional staff to serve our guests during these frigid temperatures.  We will assess the weather and resources each day to determine daytime hours.

As in all extreme weather situations, we will find a warm place for folks to shelter, whether at Mitch’s, or through other community resources. When we reach capacity, we assist individuals to find another warm place to ride out this cold spell. Our family shelter remains full, serving our families 24-hours a day.

We also continue to partner daily and coordinate with many different community groups. These include the Mayor of the City of Haverhill, the Haverhill Police Department, Haverhill’s Director of Human Services Vinny Ouellette, who determines when the Citizen’s Center needs to open, the Haverhill City Council, as well as other area shelter providers, and other resources such as Community Action’s Drop-In Center, the Salvation Army, and Common Ground Café.

“Extreme weather is something we prepare for in both the winter and the summer,” stressed Emmaus Executive Director Jeanine Murphy, adding that Emmaus serves those in crisis 365 days a year. “We thank the community support for their help during this weather emergency, and we also thank our tremendous and caring staff who are working additional hours and coordinating this effort.”

If you know of a homeless individual who may be in danger during extreme weather conditions please encourage them to contact Mitch’s Place (our individual shelter) at 978-241-3430 or call the Haverhill Police Department yourself to let them know about your concerns. The police can reach out to the individual to encourage and assist him or her in accessing emergency shelter.

Homeless families with dependent children should contact the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Division of Housing Stabilization at 866-584-0653 to ask for Emergency Shelter assistance.