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      Nonprofit opens its doors for people trying to stay warm

      By Gregory Woods gwoods@wciv.com

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It can be difficult to keep warm in your house but imagine not having a home and trying to brave the bitter cold outside on your own.

      That is the case for many people in the Lowcountry and Crisis Ministries is one of several places helping the homeless get out of the cold.

      Officials with the nonprofit said they switch into 'cold weather mode' when the temperatures drop below freezing and will not turn anyone away who needs a place to stay warm.

      Staff at the building on Meeting Street are prepared for extra guests who may stop by throughout the night.

      "Typical night, we are housing 155 men, women and children," said Stacey Denaux, the nonprofit's CEO. "When the weather gets severe, we'll see maybe 12 to 15 more individuals who are simply looking for a place to come in and be safe."

      Crisis Ministries not only provides a bed for the night. They also serve as a one-stop shop for those who live on the streets.

      "We'll have everything they need. We have blankets, we have hygiene items, we have everything someone would need to be safe for the night," said Denaux.

      She said since the cold temperatures are expected again in the Lowcountry on Tuesday, the nonprofit will open its doors again that night.

      "It will still be cold. We'll encourage everyone to stay inside and stay warm and safe," said Denaux.

      Tricounty Family Ministries on Rivers Avenue and the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center on Leeds Avenue, both in North Charleston, are also helping people find shelter in these dangerously low temperatures.

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