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Bridgeport Rescue Mission Expects Full House in Frigid Temperatures

Men wait on line to get coats and clothing at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. The shelter is expecting a full house as the temperatures continue to drop below freezing.
Men wait on line to get coats and clothing at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. The shelter is expecting a full house as the temperatures continue to drop below freezing. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Brutal winter temperatures are forcing more homeless men and women into shelters at night, and the Bridgeport Rescue Mission says it’s making room for them.

“When temperatures get this low, it brings to our doors the homeless who might otherwise choose to sleep outside or in a car,” said the mission’s executive director, Terry Wilcox. “Conditions are too dangerous to sleep outside; blankets and warm clothing are simply not enough to survive.”

Wilcox, an ordained minister, said the mission is “making room for as many extra folks as possible to keep them safe and warm.”

The mission usually serves about 50 men and women each night, but it is expected that number to soar as the temperatures continue to drop below freezing, Wilcox said.

The mission has had to convert part of its chapel and classrooms to accommodate the overflow of men and is making extra bed space in its women’s emergency shelter, he said.

The increased demand for warm shelter brings extra strain on the building, the staff, and the mission’s food resources, Wilcox said.

Donations of money, food and winter wear are being sought, he said, adding: “If someone has one extra pair of gloves, we need them!”

For more information on the mission’s programs and services, visit www.BridgeportRescueMission.org , or call (203) 333-4087,

The mission, which serves coastal Fairfield County, is located at 1088 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport.

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