GRANTS PASS, Ore. — It’s that time of year.
Temperatures are dropping rapidly and people are waking up to ice on their cars all this before winter has even arrived.
However, for those without a roof over their head, the chilly temperatures can be unforgiving.
“I’ve heard of a lot of people freezing to death in this kind of weather,” said Shelly Ayala, a resident at Gospel Rescue Mission.
Ayala knows all too well how unforgiving the cold can be, especially when you’re exposed to the elements.
“I’ve slept out in the cold before,” she said. “I mean, years and years ago, but I don’t wish it on anybody.”
She’s been living at the shelter for the past 3 months, which provides a temporary place to stay for homeless women and children.
But Ayala’s warm bed isn’t easy to come by.
“Moms are calling saying they have several children with them and they need to get in from the cold,” said Amy Lovejoy, Gospel Rescue Mission.
Lovejoy says it’s their busiest time of year with 33 women and 22 children at the shelter right now.
And they can’t take anyone else.
“We are full,” she said. “And it’s sad that I can’t offer room to just everybody…”
It’s a problem other shelters in the area say they’re all too familiar with.
The Kelly Warming Shelter in Medford is opening a month earlier this year on December 1st after reaching full capacity last year. While the Gospel Mission also in Medford has room for now, but spots could fill up fast.
“It’s kind of a running joke here to say I can’t wait till you’re gone…,” said Lovejoy.
Because it means Ayala and others will no longer need the help the shelter provides.
“Within the next five or six months I should be able to get out of here and get my own place and be on my own feet. And it will be thanks to this place,” said Ayala.
Click here for restrictions and information about the shelter.
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia.
She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.