Charity Braves Brutal Cold to Help Homeless

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Some guardian angels in Minneapolis are battling the cold to save the lives of some of the city's most vulnerable residents.

Not only is the Salvation Army's Harbor Lights facility offering food and warmth in the minus 20 degree weather, they're actually taking to the streets to search the downtown area for people in need.

The frigid weather has caused an increase in frostbite patients at local hospitals. Consequently, the shelter has found itself caring for more than 700 homeless each night.

"We don't turn anybody away. If you show up at our door, we'll find you a spot. If it's just sitting down on a chair or warming up, well we'll at least offer that, just to get out of this cold," said Harbor Lights' Dominic Bouza, who has been serving the homeless for more than a decade.

"We built a new chapel this summer and now were housing people in it overnight," he said. "There could be as many as 50 guys in there sleeping tonight, when usually it's empty."

"I'm out of the cold, you know what I'm saying," homeless resident Asad Mohammed said. "If I want something to eat I can get something to eat. They will give me a sandwich."

The charity operates solely from donations and the kindness of others.

"We need the usual. We need hats and gloves and coats, we can always get more of those. We're serving meals every day, so donations are helpful to get us through the day. Probably right now we need more, we need additional places to sleep people because we are running out of room," Bouza told Minneapolis' WCCO-TV.

Still, they say they won't turn anyone away - even if it means many of the guests must sleep on the floor in the new chapel.

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